Saturday, March 31, 2012

Research Topic

Every day, whether we realize it or not, people are exposed to thousands of media messages. These messages, which fight for our attention, can have significant impacts on our thoughts and opinions. Who knows this better than the news media industry? News sources, such as Fox and CNN, compete on a daily basis for the attention of an audience. They habitually attract their viewers through the dramatization and fragmentation of news stories, and even set the agenda for what audiences should be thinking about. So how does all of this affect an audience’s perception of what is going on in the world? Can a voter’s opinion be strongly affected during an election year? Through the use of various articles and studies, this blog explores how the use of agenda-setting, fragmentation, and dramatization in the news media affected voter preference in the 2008 presidential election.

This study is conducted through the Univeristy of Michigans Communications 111 Workshop.
The Universtiy of Michigan- Ann Arbor Communication Department


In Structural Bias in Cross-National Perspective researchers examines how structural bias in news media reports can affect political conflicts. This article makes an argument for the importance of conflict framing. Content analysis of newspaper and television coverage shows that in American culture the dominance of government is weakened by journalists’ search for conflict. Political conflicts are then dramatized and fragmented to make an exciting story. Stories about government more often include oppositional voices, and focus on the negatives of political candidates. Media is also accused of giving more attention to one political party than the other. As a result, the media unintentionally cultivates Politian’s images. The ranges of arguments in political debates are also limited by agenda setting. All of these arguments can be directed towards the 2008 presidential election involving Barack Obama and John McCain, was well as their vice-presidential partners.
In Media framing biases and political power, Robert Entman claims that journalism is guilty of framing, and this framing is often biases. The media is thus able to sway voter’s opinions on political disputes. The study focuses on the Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The study illustrates how slanted framing can shift in time and change the opinions of viewers. ABC and NBC were studied, and results emphasized the number of negative comments directed towards both Joseph Biden and Sarah Palin.
These finding implicate that the media can cultivate a politician’s image, and sway a voter’s opinion on political disputes. Thus, it is very believable that the news media strongly affected voter preference in the 2008 presidential election.