Media and Politics: Agenda Setting and Framing Essay example

Words: 857
Pages: 4

How has media influenced public perception of political figures, issues, and institutions? Through agenda setting and framing, media has the power to set the agenda for political discussion by providing public attention to political figures, issues, and institutions. In addition, the media can frame political agendas by influencing public perception and interpretation. (Ginsberg, Lowi & Weir, 1999)
Agenda Setting and Framing
Political Figures and Candidates
In campaigning, media coverage plays a large role for candidates. They use the media to make their name heard and image seen. "Nearly everything a candidate does is geared toward the media, especially television" (Stuckey, 1999, p. 99) Candidates make appearances on talk shows,
…show more content…
New coverage is reduced to personality contests and mud slinging. Complicated issues and events often are trivialized into easily dramatized conflicts between personalities, and slanderous ad campaigns. The mediated campaigns have little effect on public opinion about candidate's issues and policies, but influence public perception of candidate's image. (Weaver, 1996)
The media uses several methods to shape public perception of political figures, events, or issues. However the media cannot directly change public opinion. People obtain political information through other non-mediated sources such as their family, friends, peers, and social groups. Personal difference including education, socioeconomic status, and political efficacy changes the way people process mediated, political information.
Access to other sources and differences in the public "lessen the media's ability to force an agenda on an unwilling public" (Stuckey, 1999, 100). The low voter turnout and political participation are indicators of a disenfranchised public who see the "trivialization of politics by politicians and those who cover them" (Stuckey, 1999, 103). For those who seek it, political information is available through alternative mediated sources which are less slanted, bias, and superficial.

Ginsberg, B., Lowi, T. J., & Weir, M. (1999). The media. We the people:
An introduction to American politics. (pp. 274-311). New