AP US Government
3/14/10 2:32 PM
Group B Essay
As said in “Democracy Under Pressure” by Cummings, the media has a role in “providing a direct visual link between political leaders and candidates and the voters, television changed the nature of American Politics.” (224). One of the jobs of that the media has assumed over the years, is it provides information, once that would take months to find out. The media is responsible for the information the American people know. In another section in “Democracy Under Pressure” by Cummings, he says “a democracy rests on the consent of the governed, but in order to give their consent in any meaningful way, the governed must be informed.” (251). In order for laws and polices to be affective, the American people need to know how they are affected. The local media plays a vital role, in keeping the American people in the “loop”.
The media shapes the opinion of the American Citizen; it is the “ direct visual link” between the government and the citizen. In another passage, that was said in “Democracy Under Pressure” by Cummings “because television reaches millions of homes, news programs and live broadcast of major events cab gave a strong influence on public opinion. Television may help to shape or change public opinion, or may reinforce existing public attitudes.” (229) This boost in the media has made obtaining information much easier. However, with this boost in information and the nature of the media, it has become a beauty contest, that image has become more important than substance. Even though the citizens are given more information, it is in the nature of the media to give a more information then is needed. However, the Internet had brought a huge load of information in the 2004 elections. As said in “Democracy Under Pressure” by Cummings, “the internet had brought a dramatic new level of technological change to government and the political process. Political information, census figures, poll data, the text of speeches, legislation, supreme court decisions, and almost unlimited resources of all kinds became available” (251). There was more information of the American people that was available. The American people had more knowledge to make their decision. The Internet has made a change in elections, for now we see more results, at a faster pace. The American people are smarter, no longer is others needed for information, when all one has to do, is to search Google.
With the information that the politicians concludes from poles and voter turnouts, and even the responses made by the local media, the politician can tailor his or her view to suit the people. Negative campaigning is a tactic that is used by political to show faults of there opponents, it is a very dirty tactic, however as citizens we are shown both sides of the argument, so we are able to make better decision, versus when we are only given one perspective. Every town in America is different, so local issue would have different amount of value from one place to another. But one issue that is consistent, is state power versus federal power, it isn’t even power that the issue is, it is money. The campaigns receive money many ways, one way is the politician raises money by book signings, other way they do it is by donations.