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Mass Media Framing Essay (Critical Writing)


The mass media has been instrumental in shaping and influencing the public’s perception of politics. It is what the media depicts that convinces people to react or vote in a certain way especially during elections.

Let us take a look at the ongoing campaign trail and presidential debates in the USA and see the impact of the media on the public. The televised presidential debate in the US on October 3, 2012

The televised debate between the Republican Nominee, Mitt Romney, and President Barack Obama, recently received a lot of publicity in the media.

It was clear that the former Governor of Massachusetts stunned President Obama in the presidential debate. Romney appeared to have had the issues facing the US at his finger tips like medical care.

The media gave insights about the debate praising Romney of his stunning performance and criticized Obama of not being aggressive enough. It is true that Romney was outstanding but, in the real sense, one would have noticed that Obama made more sense in the debate because he gave more realistic arguments than Romney.

Romney’s message was based on facts and statistics but what he said about the tax policy was far from the truth.

After reading the newspapers and watching the ongoing events, voters were more convinced that Romney had been superb. Reports have been broadcasted that Obama will have to stage a dramatic comeback to survive Romney’s challenge in the coming presidential elections.

The media, in most cases, only provides information on the overall events and happenings. It mostly points out what will excite the viewers in order to get their attention.

The supporters of the Republican Party were pleased with their presidential hopeful during the debate. Obama’s supporters are eagerly waiting for the second presidential debate. Most people remain skeptical of Obama’s future and Romney seems to be warming up quickly.

How do the media influence voters?

With the November elections approaching, all radio channels, television news, and the internet are all talking about politics with a lot of commercials and intense advertising (Fourie, 2008). Probably, the candidate that each voter will vote for will have been a creation of the media.

The young generation may be lured and influenced through social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space and internet links, each talking about politics and who is the most popular candidate and why. The young generation will look more in each candidate’s failures and than his successes.

The televised debates you see have only affected the aftermath of two elections in fifty years (Croteau,Hoynes&Milan,2012). This is because what the media presents on papers and televisions afterwards dilutes the minds of voters after listening to the candidates.


What the media can do to influence the political world can be of great magnitude. That is why most politicians will want to participate in live shows and newspapers. The media may be biased and may mislead voters but could inform the public of many other matters that they had no knowledge of.

A major factor that makes the media have so much influence on the public is that it is seen as the instrument of truth. This may not always be the case. Sometimes, telling the public the truth for the media may be motivated by other factors other than just promoting public awareness.

The voters must therefore decide who is their preferred candidate based on objective reasoning than the influence from the media.


Croteau,D.,Hoynes,W.,&Milan,S.(2012).Media/Society:Industries,Images,and Audiences (4thed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Fourie, J. (2008). Media Studies: Media History, Media and Society. USA: Juta and Company.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Mass Media Framing'. 3 July.

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