Media Coverage of Elections Essay

Media Coverage of Elections Essay

The present essay deals with crucial issues of media protection during election campaigns. We put particular emphasis on the evaluation of prominent media researchers works similar to Thomas Patterson ‘Out of order’, which tackles some necessary issues concerning the role of Media in American elections and the book of Mazzoleni et al. The Media and Neo-Populism where Perot’s relationship with the press is described in a crucial manner.

Patterson could be very critical in his description of media protection of American elections. The major characteristic of media coverage is lie and hypocrisy which though as Patterson claim don’t affect real democracy to flourish within the United States. As Patterson claims, “the press makes such lies look like the norm”.

Media often overestimates the voter’s knowledge of candidates and their political platforms and, in this means, deviate them from the best choice: citizens usually are not “Aristotles who fill their time learning politics”.

Besides this, Patterson claims that a sure disconnection between reporters and journalists and candidates exists. Their actions aren’t coordinated, and it has a negative affect on election campaigns protection and actual credos of candidates’ presentation to the citizens. As Patterson claims, “Journalists are the issue here”. The dangerous image of candidates is often related with media desire to gain profit from scandal information on their non-public life and so on. Thus, Patterson ties this problem with a general deficiency of the American election system, which finally ends up in ‘watch dog’ journalism which in its flip is the product of candidates and media disconnection. These two forces are enjoying different video games, and it leads to poor conditions of election coverage. The information provided for the viewers is usually lowered to mere information and not utilizing a correct overview of candidates’ platforms and electoral positions.

Patterson proposes his decision to this electoral and media crisis. According to him, mass media should have duties vis-à-vis electorates which cannot be reduced to mere propaganda and information. Therefore, they should successfully cooperate each with civil organizations and political parties. As he notes, “The press is within the news enterprise, and the news is simply not an adequate information to political choice”.

In Media and Neopopulism, Mazzoleni et al. describe the case of the Ross Perot election campaign and its protection by the press. Ross Perot was a candidate within the 1992 presidential elections within the United States with a political platform claiming the need of protectionism, rising taxes, and solving social points. Being a billionaire, he hired the most effective PR specialists and was very profitable in media protection in the course of the first month of the campaign. Perot managed to fill the vacuum of the electoral news whereas Democrats and Republicans have been selecting their candidates on primaries and achieved significant scores of voters confidence. But as Mazzoleni et al. claim, it was a sea change in media protection when the Press elevated coverage of his business and private background. For occasion, in lots of reports, it was claimed that Perot was irritable and had authoritarian management styles. His public statements were also claimed to be impolite and insulting to African-Americans. These developments resulted in a major decrease in Perot’s public approval ratings which lastly led to his failure to win presidential elections. This instance exhibits that the function of Media in elections is increasingly essential, and it could possibly considerably affect voters inclinations to vote for a selected candidate. As the authors suggest, it might have each optimistic and negative results depending on the data covered by mass media. Hence, our analysis reveals that media protection plays an necessary however controversial function in elections which is exemplified by our references to Patterson and Mazzoleni et al.’s books.


Mazzoleni, Gianpietro, Stewart, Julianne, and Horsfield, Bruce. The Media and Neo-Populism. Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers, 2003.

Patterson, Thomas E. Out Of Order. Knopf; 1st ed edition, 1993

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