• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is the mass media politically powerful? There are two main issues regarding media influence in politics

Extracts from this document...


To what extent is the mass media politically powerful? There are two main issues regarding media influence in politics 1. Does presentation and coverage affect voting behaviour and choices? 2. Do media have an impact on political struggle and decide nature of debates? Definitions of mass media Mass media are channels of communication through which messages flow, produced by a few for consumption by many people. As the messages go through the channels, they are distorted. When people receive mass-media messages, they have no opportunity for immediate feedback with the producers of the messages.( www.pbs.org) Specialist institutions such as books, magazines, adverts, newspapers, radio, television, cinema, videos which occupy a central and pivotal role in our lives. That which reaches very large audiences (freespace.virgin.net) Forms of communication designed to reach a vast audience without any personal contact between the senders and receivers. Examples would include newspapers, magazines, video recordings, radio and television (www.elissetche.org) Political debates In recent years the need to understand the relationship between the media and politics has become more pressing. ...read more.


According to Stewart hall these are not simply a reflection of the world as it is that's neutral or objective but an interpretation of the world given to us. In these methods media can exclude certain no mainstream views from reaching publics eyes, shape opinions of the political parties who are the fore runners for campaigns. By deciding a topic is news worthy the media can set agenda for political thought for example by allocating substantial coverage to certain issues call public attention to them, this places pressure on policy makers to respond. Recent examples include environmental issues, and video nasties. Voting behaviour Extensive research has been conducted to see if Media's selection and presentation of political matter can be influential in voting the basis of research is usually objective analysis of voting patterns, Martin Harrop (1986) attempted to measure the effect of the press on the press on peoples voting patterns. He found evidence which suggests that voters might be more vulnerable to the media than they were formally. ...read more.


Like Harrop they concluded from results of panel surveys over time that media had limited influence over and could not provoke a large swing towards either party. Also like Harrop they conclude that the readers of newspapers supporting either conservative or labour parties will only have there values and political identity re affirmed rather than be likely to switch party's "Recent research presents a view of contemporary voters as actively seeking out campaign information to assist in deciding how to vote, in the context of partisanship, prior knowledge, beliefs and needs (Miller, 1991)." Against this view Patrick Dunleavy and Chris Husbands (1985) they argue press has large influences over political issues. They attack those who conclude that press only reinforce values already believed by the readers. They believed right wing dominated press had helped create a conservative majority they claim to show that voting habits of manual and non manual workers varies according to the amount of right wing press they are exposed to, those how read right wing press were more likely to vote for the conservative party. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. Free essay

    Assess the role of the media

    3 star(s)

    Other post modernists such as, again Baudrillard, and also Bagguley, Baudrillard says that the media has caused a "death of class" in the UK.

  2. "Any sociological explanation of the influence of the mass media needs to take into ...

    adaptive to the media content based on their senses and diverse views. The Spiral of Silence Approach by Neumann (1974) definitely takes into consideration the social situation of the public. It suggests that when individuals' view in the society is in the minority, they tend to be 'silent' & follow the majority's views instead, due to fear of isolation.

  1. What do you understand by the phrase 'Trial by Media'? What are the implications ...

    In Britain today, there are only seven companies that account for all national sales of newspapers, with News International owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch claiming the biggest share with 35 percent of circulation sales. (Jones M., Jones E. p24)

  2. The mass media have direct and immediate effects on the ideas and behaviour of ...

    middle-class students saw the programme as superficial and black, mainly working-class students saw it as boring. This research shows how the media can be read/interpreted in many different ways - the media is polysemic. This approach has been criticised as presenting an over-determined view, as it sees the audience as being controlled by the social groups to which they belong.

  1. CENSORSHIP - A Liberal and Conservative View

    The obvious reason to this being that everyone is entitled to their opinion whether that opinion may include vulgarity or not. A Liberal will therefore say something of the sort: If a man can preach on television about the goodness of God, then a man can surely preach on the f*ing a*holes that rule their sh*hole of a country!

  2. Assess sociological explanations of the relationship between crime and the mass media.

    to the hippie drug user, they didn't have a clue what they were like. So they got their ideas from the mass media, which resulted in a severe social reaction. The police then started to increase its action and as a result made hippies distant from society.

  1. To what extent does the Media affect body image in teens and their perception ...

    not to use their results as I felt they didn?t contribute to any of my product. Also, I wanted to focus on teenage girls and their perception of beauty. I was please with how the experiment was carried out and found it was a success with all the participants and the results I received were clear and reliable.

  2. Assess the postmodernist views of the mass media.

    PM highlight the increasing importance of popular culture promoted by the media. STRINATI notes the mass media have caused a breakdown of distinction between high and popular culture, making popular culture dominate the way people define themselves. Popular culture has more influence on our lifestyles than social structures, as opposed

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work