Free «Mass Media and Agenda Setting» Essay Sample

In the contemporary society, mass media has tremendous influence on the perceptions and the way the public is most likely to behave. Newspapers, radio and television presents issues deemed creditable to the society. The fact that something appears on media sources does not necessary guarantee it of its validity. Mass media filters and shapes at its own disposal. Mass media will only discuss particular issues according to choice while trying to guide the entire public to see certain matters in line with its perception. With such a great persuasion, the mass media can easily have a huge impact on presidential elections. The theory of agenda setting came to a center stage in a more significant manner on the agenda of the public in the 2008 US presidential election (US Elections 2008, 2010).

The agenda setting theory declares that mass media offers prominent matters that the audience deems crucial.  The mass media makes an effort in highlighting specific topics and therefore the audience supposes the issues to be important. It may not really support any side of the topic, but certain information concerning the topic is addressed. From the establishment of the United States of America, elections for the presidential seat have taken place after a period of four years. The latest presidential elections in 2008 were an echoing historical time. This was a time of economic uncertainty, war and indifferences. The American people were really divided. The presidential candidates thus had higher expectations than any other time in the past.

Media Highlights

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Mass media has all through continued to obtain a lot of persuasion and influence through agendas of the media. Their viewers have all through increased. Agenda setting was well exemplified in the 2008 presidential elections.  The media was indeed influenced on to the agenda of the public. In 2008, the elections of the presidential seat got much influence from the media. The media described particular reports in the news which agitated thought on the general public. The public was effectively persuaded by the media. The stimulation of thoughts to the specific news reports determined what matters to consider as far as the presidential election was concerned. All through the presidential election, the mass media took part in communicating the platform, political agenda and policies of each presidential candidate.

All the same, the views presented by the media have never inclined on either side. In modern times, the research on media and the agenda of politics has received mounting attention of both political science and media scholars. These studies have come up with robust relationships between priorities of the public and the media.  Regardless of this, mass media never declared directly on whom to vote for in 2008. In actual fact, mass media just gave advice on the general public on the way to view the messages of politics presented in the media publications. The time of election apparently brought up many reports as well as creating a lot of gossip concerning the candidates for presidency. Such information was shaped and filtered according to the wish of media. The reports were then sent to the public through publications.

While this information is not meant to attack a certain candidate in particular, the effect is felt towards the end of the election. The general public was thus influenced on their perception of the candidates for presidency. The perception of the public towards presidential candidates has a great impact on the final results in the election. In the elections of 2008, the media continually provided news reports linked to the struggles with the Republic camp led by McCain. On the other side, not many news reports were published by the media correlated to the struggles in the democratic camp led by Barrack Obama. The media's focus came out of the umbrella of political parties and centered on the individual candidates of the 2008 presidential elections. This apparently supported the move by the Swing States (Presidential Swing States, 2008).

Independent Voters in Swing States

Things like a party identification or what could be termed as a long-term affiliation to a party have all along carried the wave of politics. This initially summarized the candidates' attitude and outlook on the advantages of the political party as the major factor in polls. However, things seemed to turn around and centre on an individual.  The issues presented by the media looked at the person more than the party would count. The reports of the media exhibited a decline in the number of strong partisans. Reports indicated that the competition in political elections intensified with the need to get the independent voters in swing states. The affiliation to political parties among the Swing States like Ohio was very weak (United States Presidential Election of 2008).

The publication of extra news reports linked to the campaigns of the republicans in comparison to the publication of news concerning the democrats had a very great impact on the beliefs and attitudes of the society on the latest presidential elections. Apparently, the public accepted that the public opinion and the media are linked; the politicians naturally react to acquire the issues presented by media and go after them in some points. Every candidate did his best to strike interest in their followers making reference to issues presented by the media.

Senator Barrack Obama exuded calm confidence in the presidential election in 2008 while making known his plans and ambitions to the public. He positioned himself in the views of the media and the perceptions of the entire public. People would see the way he reacted towards the struggles and matters implied by the media. In conclusion, agenda setting by the media actually played a very significant role in the 2008 presidential election. Both senator Obama and McCain faced reactions on their personality as reflected by the media. The news presented in the media reports shifted the focus in 2008 from party politics to individual or candidate's policy. The attitudes and behaviors of the public in 2008 were eventually reflected in the end.


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