Thursday, March 11, 2010

Game Change- Era of mass media

Group B

In this era of electronic mass media, politicians can use it to their advantage. Now with almost every home owning multiple television sets, candidates often make television commercials promoting themselves or bashing respectfully their opponent. Sometimes the ads can get a little offensive if you are from the opposing party. From the commercials, image-makers and spin control can at times portray a candidate in a different light.

The issue of weather image or substance in more important is very popular in politics. There is a very fine balance between the two. It is very important for a candidate to give off a good ‘first impression’ so, for politicians, their outward appearance needs to be professional and presentable. There was a huge debate over Sarah Palin’s clothing when she was running for vice president, which is one example of the importance of image in this career. Substance is what people really are voting for though. A candidate must be clearing the way they stand and present themselves in the best way possible.

Political campaigns are organized with the effort to secure a nomination in the election. Campaign cost in recent years has become enormous, with advertisements, especially television being the greatest expense. As a result of this era of electronic mass media, candidates have to raise many millions of dollars. Although candidates would like to be able to accept any amount of money they are given, there are some federal regulations set for how much money organizations, individuals, and committee members can give.

In 1974, Gil Scott-Heron released a song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” At that time, things were not widely televised and Internet was unheard of. Nowadays, the Internet has changed the nature of American voting. In the most recent election, President Obama did a lot of Internet campaigning. President Obama used the Internet to identify, organize and unite his voters. He raised millions of dollars that helped him to make a virtual community of networkers and followers who would bring in the votes. By using the Internet as a campaign source, President Obama was able to connect with a younger generation and bring millions of new voters to the polls.

Campaigns are able to calculate the preferences of voters based on polls. During election time, people are dedicated to watching and making polls to find out where their candidate is ranked. The majority of polls are opinion polls. They can also look at past trends to see voter preferences based on a particular area. In the most recent election, Iowa, a swing state, was very important for Obama to win, therefore many polls were taken in that area and a lot of his political campaign focus was placed their.

The issues are very important in a campaign. That Is what people should be basing their vote on. The issues, weather it be bout the war, abortion rights, or health care, the politicians stance on this issues is the most important factor to voters. The campaign helps, it’s promoted the candidates views and highlights their best features. Politicians want the best information to be out their about themselves, so one way for their opponent to ‘get ahead’ is to make attacking ads. Negative ads can be very detrimental for a candidate. Negative campaigning is trying to win an advantage over another candidate by referring their negative attributes rather then emphasizing their own positive aspects and policies. Negative campaigning can evoke negative responses and can come with some controversy. This negative campaigning usually influences undecided voters. The money that is used on campaigns comes from independent voters, organizations, other politicians, and committee members donate.

The media has influenced politics very much in recent years. With this modern era of technologies it also brings about change. It is no longer needed to sit around the family radio t0 listen to a political speech but you can watch it on television, live online, read about it in the news paper the next day or on online blogs. Mass media has helped the candidates campaign but has also cost them a lot more money. They are now able to reach a wider audience and get their message out into the public more. Campaigns are organized very diligently with funds from many supporters that hope to achieve success in a campaign with the help of electronic mass media.

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