Extra credit: media and the election

The question that I am supposed to write about is, “What the role of the media in the Presidential election is, are they contributing to the democratic process or are they (the media), profiting on conflict.  To answer this I think that there are a few key elements of the media during an election that need to be broken down.  Does the media play any role in the election?  Yes, of course the media plays a role in the election.  The more media coverage that one has the more that people is going to know about that candidate.  The media can either make or break someone regardless if they are a candidate in an election.  So, the media will always play a Vidal role in exposing the truth, and sometimes much, much more than the truth to their audience.  There are also several media outlets that serve the purpose to bring candidates to light for the public.  The major media outlets are newspapers, internet, television, and radio.  Newspapers are usually something that you will see in the small communities.  Newspapers in larger cities have started to go to online readership only but, they are still being used as “newspapers.”  Newspapers and websites tend to have larger columns for people to read rather than a 10 second clip on the T.V. or radio.  Websites allow the readers to interact with the columns and leave replies on message boards.  The internet also allows people to create their own blogs which intern can have an effect on the people that read them.  Television is a major media outlet.  T.V. allows the candidates to come into the persons how and talk to them as close to “one-on-one,” as they can get.  Since there are so many media outlets how exactly do they play a role in the election process?  Well, to begin with all media outlets are supposed to follow the “7-canons of journalism,” which they (as we well know) don’t.  A lot of media outlets tend to be very bias.  They are formed in the foundation of superiority over another group.  Such as all the major three networks, all lean towards a certain view.   This means that when you turn on your TV or read the website for a certain network you are going to find only certain information that will be given.  Not all TV stations or websites are going to give you the full details on a certain candidates.  Why, do they do this?  Well, they do it because they want to be right.  They want to be justified in the way that they think, and in the way that they act.  They want their actions to seem like the right ones, so of course they are going to do everything that they can in their power to make the other guys look like crap.  Take a prime example of someone that wants everyone to think they are right is Nancy Grace.  She just sort of picks up a story and runs with it and basically makes it into her own.  It doesn’t matter if she is right in her ways or not.  You will only hear her side of the story.  When she does bring on the “other side,” onto her show, she ends up interrupting them and doing everything in her power to make them look like they are the bad guys.  This is a great example of how the media can easily take over a story or a person and make them look bad, regardless if they are or not.  The media can play several roles in the election process.  A media source (say a major network) can latch onto a candidate and do everything in their power to make that candidate the “right” choice for Americans. A media outlet can also latch onto someone that they don’t like and do everything in their power to make them look horrible.  I think that this will always be something that is around.  I think it has been around since before their ever was any sort of media outlets (like we have now).  Is the media profiting on conflict in the Presidential election?  Of course they are!  The media takes every bad thing that of the candidates have done and they turn it into a major story.  The media always gains from others losses.  A few weeks ago when it came out that Mitt Romney had said, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” (cbsnews.com)  The thing is, is that are 47 percent of people in the United States that will not pay and did not pay income taxes last year.  29.2 percent of that 47 percent are people that make between $16,812 and $33,542. (cbsnews.com)  So, basically Romney is saying that the poor do not pay taxes.  Most people moan and complain that the government helps out too many people and too many people are on welfare.  Romney just happened to say it, and for it to get out to media outlets.  Those media outlets profited off of Romney’s slip up.  This is just one of the many examples that there are that the Media does profit off of conflict on the Presidential Election.  But, I have to say that I was surprised that there were certain stories that happened around election time that didn’t get very much coverage.  The story that finally came out about what really happen in Syria got almost no coverage.  It was like it was completely blown under the table.  I feel as if more people would have known what happened and the things that had come out from that time that Obama probably wouldn’t have been re-elected as President.   I guess the fact that record numbers of immigrants, the poor, and (the very close to being a majority) minority voted, it doesn’t came as a shock that Obama was re-elected.  I mean I am a poor college student but, I am nowhere near poor as a lot of the countries “poor” are.  I don’t have cable (so I could say on money) so I am guessing people that are strictly living off of the government don’t either.  These means the media that gets to these people is only going to be a very small percentage of what the whole story is.   The media still plays a major role in these people’s lives but, they aren’t going to get the same amount of media influence that people that have a cable or access to the internet will get.  Regardless of how poor I or anybody else might be media still was really the only way we had access to the candidates during election time.  Unless you happen to live in a state where there was a town hall meeting, or rally for one of them but, a lot of times even those cost money.  Media is the way that I connected to the election coverage.  I don’t like Romney and I don’t like Obama so it was easier for me to see how the media was profiting off of both of their mistakes or in some cases choosing to ignore their wrong doings.  I think that the media will always be a very important part of the election process.  As long as there is media there will always be people profiting off of others conflicts.  I believe that we saw this several times throughout ever election that there has been since I can remember, and probably you too.  I think that it is important though to get your own information.  Everyone should know which media outlets go to the right or left and which ones tend to stay in the middle.  That way you can have the final say when choosing your next president. 

Word count: 1405


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