The agenda-setting function of mass media has largely been influenced by news coverage and the public’s view about the significance and the truthfulness of the stories covered by mass media. Some theorists have stated that news editors and anchors have a significant impact on determining the public’s views of social reality. Mass media has a huge influence on how people think and their perception of what they are reading or listening to . One of the major influences that the agenda-setting function of mass media has had on shaping public perceptions is presidential elections, Just like the one we recently had a couple months ago.. Based on the findings of a research, there is a vital correlation between media coverage and the public’s opinion regarding the importance of a political issue. This has resulted in the development of the concept political advertising in the recent past, particularly on negative political advertising that has increased in the past few decades. However, negative political advertisements have not always been accepted in a positive light since the process of voter absorption of information from negative ads is more difficult than anticipated.
Agenda-Setting Function and the 2012Presidential Election
The powerful influence of mass media on some political situations was evident in the 2012 presidential elections in the United States. New stories about politicians and the country’s citizens largely impacted the public view on politicians and public discourse. During the presidential campaign the agenda-setting function of mass media was evident through various measures such as the concept of a powerful US media. The ability of this function of mass media was demonstrated in several ways including gradual popularity of Barack Obama, our first African-American president, who was a relatively unpopular politician from 2002-2006. Secondly, because of the extensive media coverage, the 2012 presidential campaigns resulted in a record high voter turnout as compared to previous elections as was seen during John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaigns. As revealed in the above observations, mass media was an influential factor during the 2012 presidential campaigns and is largely considered as a major factor that has changed the landscape of political campaigns. During these campaigns, there was a notable impact of the agenda-setting function, particularly because of the increase in the use and volume of mass communication. Similar to previous presidential campaigns, the US mass media played a significant role in providing important campaign coverage and reliable political information during the 2012 presidential campaigns.
Concerns during the 2012 Presidential Election
One of the most memorable aspects in the 2012 presidential election was that candidates of major parties campaigned on the platform of tax reform and healthcare in the United States. However, the main themes that surrounded these presidential election campaigns were the country’s economy and Health care. The economy emerged as a major issue in the last few months in the campaigns because of the onset lost jobs, and closed business in 2012, and the previous years. Major Issue among Independent Voters
During the 2012 presidential elections campaigns, there was a major focus on Health care and getting the country out of the deficit, and gay marriage. . Given that this group of voters has now grown significantly to outnumber both Republican and Democrats in six states, it’s critical for candidates to consider what they want. In 2011, independent voters named the economy as the major issue that had an impact on them whereas Democrats named health care and Republicans pointed to terrorism. However, other issues like war on Iraq, health care, global warming and various social issues like gay marriages and abortion made them to prefer the Democratic Party (Edsall par, 4). Conclusion:
The agenda-setting function of mass media has a significant impact on public perception and thinking regarding a particular story especially during presidential elections campaigns. Consequently, the agenda-setting function of mass media has now become one of the most studied areas of media.
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Orange County S. 2012 Presidential Election: Social Media and Internet Advertising Major Indicators. Business Wire (English) [serial online]. May 0011:Available from: Regional Business News, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 29, 2013