The international image of the United States is critical in obtaining consent and/or support from overseas actors’ that might affect the advancement of the U.S. government’s international policy preferences. Coupled with the compelling nature and impact of mass communication, and news media in particular, international public opinion understandably signifies and creates either an acceptance of, or an opposition to, the decisions and policies of U.S. leaders. This author will explore key aspects of international public opinion of the U.S. during the presidency of George W. Bush, paying attention to the international news media environment that both deterred the advancement of the U.S. government’s international goals and helped the U.S. government achieve its international objectives.Last, the author will discuss the current international public opinion of the Obama presidency. Public opinion and media While public opinion shapes the political and societal or cultural frameworks of a country, it is communication, which established a difference (Glynn, et. al, 2004). This is primarily based on the fact that public opinion is communicated and imparted both to people and societies based on the influence of the media profession. The development of technologies such as print, radio, television and the internet, “fueled concerns that it had the power to sway public opinion unduly…” (Glynn, et. al, 2004, p. 409). According to Glynn, et. al, those on the other side of the debate believe that “publics can resist such influences and indeed use media in largely beneficial ways” (2004, p.
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409). It is this authors opinion that news media is directly connected with, and in many ways ultimately responsible for, public opinion. The media component has long been proven to be vital ground that determines whether a country and its President are positively or negatively perceived by the public. In fact, with the enormous impact of news media, a leader, as well as his strategies and judgments, are scrutinized by the media and their subsequent news presentations, resulting in either criticism or praise. It is under such premises and circumstances that the government and its leader must carefully regard what the news media can offer, and eventually do (or even undo). This is also under the principle that news media absolutely has the power to affect public opinion. With such influence, it will be empirically valuable for a president to formulate and perform his policies and course of action fundamentally in accordance to what and how news media views a specific event. It is therefore necessary and worthy for a president and his government to consider the established authority of news media to achieve a consenting public opinion. Otherwise any policy or decision, however good it is, may be ridiculed or outright opposed. A number of these instances could pave the way for the downfall of the administration in the arena of public opinion.
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