Media and politics
Abbott Joseph Liebling once stated, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed to those who own one.” In the past years, there has been increased power by the media concerning politics. The media inform the public of real events occurring around the world. Even though the media is responsible for informing people, most of the time, they distort information to the public for their benefit. For a longtime media have been the main source of information, especially on politics, media have shaped the public opinion making its role more powerful more so during an election .
Political parties have become sensitive on how the media cover their public appearance because they are aware of the impact of media on their career. Media has a remarkable impact on politics, which at times is good or turn out to be bad depending on who is affected. If media is used against politicians, their career can easily be destroyed, but if the media cover positive elements about the party and the politician, their career can take him to new heights. Ideally, media need to fulfill it the main role that is to inform the public by disseminating a balanced political opinion to enable the public to make their choices.
In democratic communities, media is the main channel that promotes an exchange of political opinion to the public without being under pressure to favor any side. In liberal democratic countries, media inform the public. Media is a watchdog of the government and help people to participate in political processes. However, such practices are not fulfilled by the media. The media instead play different roles; they usually hide important political information to the public. The government and politicians have manipulated the media to achieve their ambition by diverting the audience attention.
It is natural for people to believe what the media tell us because we assume that the media has done research and they are perceived as the main sources of information. Media play an important role in American politics, but also international politics as well. Many are times when media coverage of international affairs has prompted immediate action due to public pressure. For example, during the Vietnam War, many people supported the involvement of the US troops, but after the media highlighted the actual situation on the ground, many people were against the war and President Johnson.
The media have often been accused of biased news coverage of political activities. Most media stations are owned by wealthy individuals who support specific political ideologies. Most media houses have been accused of biased coverage due to their political connection to specific political parties hence hiding the truth from the public. Even though the first amendment gives the media the freedom to write or report to the public, the media should not manufacture stories to promote a specific political agenda but should be obligated, to tell the truth. The media is a tool that generates both positive and negative effects on politics. Politics will not have been what it is today without media. Media and politics are closely connected. Even if both of them perceive each other as adversaries, the media remain the most important platform for exchanging political ideologies and for seeking support by most politicians. It is a fact that politicians need media to gain power.
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