The advent of the World Wide Web has shifted the impact of the meaning of media and reliability. From major newspapers abandoning their print outlets to the latest up to the second news on somebody’s blog, the internet has changed the way people consume the news. The political landscape has seen some of the most significant changes and is a key example of how the reliability of the online world has come under questioning following the latest elections and news. Politicians have always relied on the media to disseminate their messages.
In our digital age, the traditional forums of print media, radio, and television have become integrated into an online multimedia platform. According to a 2004 Pew survey, over 50 million Americans went online for election news everyday during the Presidential election (Nogourney). It is now common practice for politicians to have their own website and a social networking page on such sites as MySpace and Facebook or to publish Podcasts and YouTube videos in order to gain exposure and to further control their messages by excluding the intermediary forces of journalists.
In a New York Times article, journalist Adam Nogourney wrote of the shifting trends of politicians as regards the new utilization of online media, “The Internet appears to be far more efficient, and less costly, than the traditional tools of politics, notably door knocking and telephone banks (Nogourney). The internet has also provided an forum for constant updates and information sharing that allows candidates and the public to analyze, comment, and react to the latest news from the campaign trail.
That being said, there has been an increasing debate about the reliability of candidate news and information in an era of fierce competition and rampant misinformation efforts by political party ideologues and the unverified accounts of millions of bloggers that have free reign to publish their opinions without regard to journalistic ethics. In a 2007 article concerning the role of media in politics, Associated Content wrote an editorial speaking of this impact, “The media also influences the public’s perception on the viability of a candidate.
If reports say a certain candidate is ahead in an election, the public will come to accept that evaluation, which can greatly influence how voters cast their ballots (Influence). In this way, political polls and published statistics and trends have a greater access to a viral online community and this can significantly impact the public perception of the campaign. The role of the online media is only going to grow as traditional forums become further integrated into the online dialogue.
As has always been the case in the media, questions concerning the reliability of information will continue to be asked. Outside from party ideologues and ulterior motivated bloggers, the information presented online parallels that of traditional media in terms of reliability, it’s just that now individuals have more choice as to how they consume their news and information. Works Cited
The Influence of the Media in Politics, Campaigns, and Elections. (2007). Associated Content. Retrieved 27 March 2009, from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/443975/the_influence_of_the_media_in_politics_pg7. html Nogourney, Adam. (2006). Politics Faces Sweeping Change via the Web. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2009, from http://www. nytimes. com/2006/04/02/washington/02campaign. html
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