Can the media impact politics?
Can the media effect politics? If therefore, how? If not, why not?
There are numerous academic theories regarding the romantic relationship between politics and the media, and whether or not one is certainly a dominant partner greatly influencing the result of the various other. Some purport that the media hold extraordinary amounts of ability in the political arena, however a great many other believe that the power they wield is actually minimal (Newton & Van Deth, 2009). What cannot be disputed is the proven fact that the media and its audience are interdependently connected; the mass media will alter their concept to suit a specific audience, while the public are more likely to invest in press which reflects their viewpoints. Generalisation can be something which ought to be avoided when talking about the media’s relationship with politics, as as the term media traditionally might have been used in buy essay reference to papers and radio or tv programmes, (Newton & Van Deth, 2009) it now encapsulates social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. There are those who may argue that media basically represents the political views of the public, and while which may be true in the situations of internet sites, many may challenge its truth with regards to media news outlets. In this essay I will attempt to conclude myself regarding the extent how is the molar mass of an element determined of influence press is wearing politics, and facts how I’ve come compared to that conclusion.
In the UK, the hyperlink between press and politics is undeniable. For a major newspaper to alter its political allegiance is definitely a sizeable modification, which would be expected to dominate all forms of media. Including the decision of The Sun, Britain’s most widely argumentative essay format circulated newspaper and then the focus of my review, to eliminate its 12 season support for Labour in 2009 2009 created national information, and finally forecast the downfall of the Labour government. It is worth noting that The Sun has supported the get together that eventually forms the next government within the last 7 General Elections; something which suggests that SUNLIGHT hold great effect over the political views of their readers. However, in 1997, 2001 and 2005, the Conservative vote was not as effected as you may visualize, with an common32% of Sun viewers saying they would vote Conservative during that period (Ipsos MORI, 2010). While this analysis may suggest that SUNLIGHT is a newspaper that will ruthlessly change its allegiance to become on the winning area of an election, I’d argue that this is not necessarily the circumstance. In the 1992 Standard Election for instance, The Sun had been regularly anti-Labour and Kinnock, including their infamous ‘If Kinnock wins today will the previous person to leave Britain please turn out the lights’ headline, regardless of the polls suggesting the minority Labour authorities or an extremely slim Labour Bulk. The attacks on Kinnock in the final days of the 1992 campaign were widely regarded as responsible for Labour’s unforeseen defeat (McKee, 1995), and possibly Neil Kinnock himself released in his departing speech that ‘the Conservative-assisting press has enabled the Tory Get together to win yet again when the Conservative Party could not have secured victory for itself on the basis of its record’ (Whitney, 1992). This might be used as an example for the idea of agenda-setting up, whereby a media outlet has an view which it pushes after its viewership, and tries to influence which concerns are believed important. Agenda setting up is attained by attaching priority to particular stories which may reflect the opinion that your media store wishes to push – in this situation the opinion that a Labour government would have been harmful to Britain.
Another example of the way the media have exerted a great impact over British politics, and politics generally is the growth in the publication of scandal within Westminster. Before the Profumo Affair in 1963, the media and the public quite definitely stuck to the theory that the exclusive lives of politicians ought to be exactly that; private. The fantastic public interest in this story on the other hand, meant that this affair was the watershed of political scandal, with journalists bringing ever further measures as a way to reveal the next big scoop. Albeit not really immediately followed by a huge blast of revelations, the boundaries of personal privacy in the lives of politicians had been broken by the media and have not really been the same since (Stanyer, 2012). This may be said to be a good example of priming with, in the 1990s especially, the scrutiny over the dealings of Conservative politicians from the left-wing press leading to an environment whereby Majors administration was found to be one packed with sleaze and mistrust. This was achieved with revelations including the Cash for Questions scandal and the backfiring of John Major’s Back to Basics campaign. That is priming as instead of immediately stating the conservative ministers had been untrustworthy, the mass media simply dripped out testimonies to highlight this way of pondering (Newton & Van Deth, 2009).The mistrust of Conservatives created by the media environment of the 1990s could very well be best characterised in the result of the 1997 standard election in the historically secure Conservative chair of Tatton, where the Cash for Inquiries tainted MP Neil Hamilton misplaced out to an unbiased, Martin Bell, sitting on an ‘anti-sleaze ticket’ (Mann, 1999).
The insurance of scandal can be used in a disagreement to recommend that the media has little affect over political thinking. Those that have confidence in the reinforcement theory which says that ‘mass media can only reflect and reinforce open public opinion, not make or mould it,’ (Newton & Van Deth, 2009, p. 196) would indicate the relatively recent shifts in what journalists publicise with regards to scandal in politics. While prior to the millennium scandal was generally focused on the individual lives and sexual misdemeanours of the political school, as such behaviour has become normalised in open contemporary society, the press has taken fewer of a pastime in it. The general public have gone from getting shocked by behaviour which may be considered immoral, or not really ‘Christian’, to today being shocked by mostly criminal activities. It has directly resulted in the kind of journalistic research which led to the Expenses scandal in ’09 2009. The enormity of the story displays the moral leanings of the British people in the 21st century, and was a story picked up by press outlets nationwide – all of which will have held diverse agendas. Some may say that proves to an extent that the press cannot control or effect, but merely just publish information that may reinforce public opinion.
On a far more international scale, it really is difficult to ignore the manner in which social media forms and revolution have gone hand in hand, particularly in the Arab Spring. It is not a recent proven fact that the new media of the overdue 20th and 21st centuries would create new dimensions that politics could be influenced (Poster, 1995). In Egypt, ‘cyberactivism’ first found existence in2004, and provided an alternative solution to the state-controlled mass media; allowing people to express opinion unpopular with the federal government. From 2008 onwards, in the shadow of a worldwide economic crisis and an extremely repressive government, there was a growing number of protests when a key position has been played out by innovative media forms (Khondker, 2011). It can’t be questioned that social networking was a pivotal person in the organisation and publicising of the protests across the region. One reason behind this was the express control of traditional press, which left social mass media as almost the previous voice of the persons. On a walk out ‘Facebook was used to program the protests’ and ‘Twitter to coordinate’ (Khondker, 2011), and following on from this traditional press was utilised to provide the uprisings to an international audience who subsequently supported the uprising. In this instance, and similar types across North Africa, different media held great effect over politics. It mobilised opposition groups, allowing them to create a group identity and also coherence.
The effect that such new press can exert over politics in times of revolution and uprising should not, however, be overstated. It is important to point out that for such events to unfold, certain groundbreaking conditions and the inability of the state to react to the activities of the people should be present. In this feeling the media is only a tool of the revolution, not really a predetermined requirement for a revolution that occurs (Khondker, 2011). Privately I assume that the media, both fresh and old, does not have a monopoly over the thoughts of the people and instead just delivers them with a voice that their ideas could be spread. The actual fact that revolutions have occurred throughout history in times before public media, including the French and Cuban Revolutions, informs me that new media is additional of an enabler when compared to a driving force behind such happenings (Himelfarb, 2011).
To conclude, I think that the influence of the press over politics depends considerably upon the political situation in the region that it is being published. In extra politically stable areas, including the UK, while the media may have some agenda their consumers are likely to only access and take note of media that reflects their personal views. Mass media must cater to a particular readership to become sustainable as a organization, and therefore cannot obviously try to mould public opinion. This is evidenced by the actual fact that in all post war elections but 1, the get together with the greatest mass media support has formed another government (Butler & Butler, 2010). Not surprisingly, the media can play a vital function in influencing politics, as displayed in the aforementioned Arab Spring. I believe this is a sign of the future, in which conventional media will perform a comparatively tiny role compared to that of social press, in Africa and beyond.