Media is a communication network through which news, theatre, education and messages are dispersed. It comprises of distribution mediums such as, magazines, television, posters, cell phone, facsimile, and the internet (Fox & Ramos 2011, p.125).
Media events are developed from the media and are considered to be motions that are created for publicity purposes. Media events include all activities that are propagated through the mass media and hold fundamentally value with the media as priorities.
Media events mainly concentrate on news broadcasts, corporate anniversaries and scheduled occasions like speeches.
Media is only successful in the presence of a society, which is a group of people sharing relations through geographical territory, political leadership and dominant cultural beliefs (Fox & Ramos 2011, p.83).
Leadership is the ability to guide, motivate and inspire individuals or groups with the aim of achieving specific objectives.
Societies are categorized by arrangements of interactions between persons who share a unique culture.
Culture is the collective knowledge of religion, notions of time, heroes, hierarchy of being, spatial relationships and wealth attained by a society from age groups through individual collective effort.
The invention of media has brought significant changes in the society particularly in the context of relations and culture.
Through media inventions and development in communication, a significant improvement has emerged on both domestic and international relationships.
Individuals in a society are now able to interact and relate with persons of different societies through telephone, mail and the internet unlike in the pre-industrial era where communication channels were limited and therefore the culture and beliefs of a society were only know to themselves (Fox & Ramos 2011, p.303).
The media has therefore facilitated cultural change which is evidenced in how people relate and interact, given that people are now able to develop themselves using their learnt abilities which enables societal.
Media in the society is used mainly for interactions that is why several social networks like Facebook, Google plus, Skype and Twitter have been developed. All social networks are used as communication platforms between people from different corners of the world.
The social networks enable people who are total strangers to communicate and learn from each other (Fox & Ramos 2011, p.23). Other than communication the media is used as an avenue for education and learning.
The introduction of online tutorials and Google books which are at the disposal to all those who may need to read them.
Such mediums have become fundamental academic tools that have expanded the global knowledge pool and enabled learning institutions to export their teaching models to foreign students.
Entertainment has also been expanded through the media, with implements such as Netflix, YouTube and Channel1 becoming major entertainment hubs cross the globe for visual and audio content.
Despite the fact that the media has greatly improved the modern lifestyle, it also has its demerits especially to the youths who spend so much of their time surfing making them lethargic and unenthusiastic.
There is also the issue of pornographic material that is readily available online even to underage viewers and with the advances in mobile technology; such content is getting availed to younger viewers at a higher frequency (Krugman 2009, p.90).
Such content can lead to permissiveness and lack of morals since most of the youths to copy and enact what they view on the internet. The disadvantages still do not overrule the advantages of the media that are experienced by the society at large.
In the recent years, social networking has emerged as a major campaign tool that has been inculcated into campaigns strategies particularly in the United States.
This was witnessed during the 2008 US elections campaigns where presidential candidate Barack Obama successfully implemented Twitter to his campaigns allowing him to reach out to millions of American youths and ultimately secured his victory in the elections (Krugman 2009, p.50).
Twitter was founded in 2006 as a fictional idea by Jack Dorsey who envisioned an SMS-based communications channel. During a brainstorming gathering at the Odeo Company Dorsey proposed the idea to Odeo’s co-founder Evan Williams and Biz Stone.
It is then that Jack was given a go-ahead to devote time on the task and progress it further. The first Twitter message was sent on March 21, 2006 9:50pm by Jack. He tweeted, “just setting up my twttr”.
In its young age Twitter was known as “twitter”, it was a popular trend occasionally used to increase domain name benefit (Krugman 2009, p. 20).
Since then twitter has grown and is widely used with 15 million active users as of 2012. (@BarackObama) is the official Twitter account for Barack Obama and is mainly used for his election campaigns and the president’s other handle (@WhiteHouse) is used only for presidential activities like his plans for the youth or public.
On 12th June 2012, Obama had 16,505,044 follower and 4,239 tweets (Kraft 2012, p. 5). In the previous year Obama’s account had the highest number of followers according to network statistics and became third to attain ten million twitter followers.
Obama’s other twitter handle (@WhiteHouse) had approximately three million followers and was ranked among the two-hundred most followed accounts in the USA. Obama used Twitter as a fast and effective way to endorse law and provision for his plans for the country.
Although the president is a popular topic to many discussion agendas on Twitter, he uses his account to reply to the community on matters of economic growth and also for personal interactions (Smith 2013, p 60.
Statistics show that in 2013 president Obama’s account was amid the top ten worldwide followed accounts with over ten million followers (Smith 2013, p 56).
During the 2008 campaigns, Obama’s Twitter account was the fourth greatest followed account having about 4.5 million followers. On 16th May 2011, Barack Obama twitter account was followed by 7.4 million people and this value included 28 world leaders who followed him on twitter.
On 14th September 2011 the president’s account became the third to attain a maximum of 10 million followers (Kraft 2012, p. 108). @WhiteHouse account was created first before @BarackObama account as it was created on 21st April 2007 before Obama was elected as the president.
In 2008 the Democratic National Committee overtook the account @WhiteHouse this was evident in Obama’s speech on 25th November 2009 when he stated, “I have never used Twitter”, while this account had over 2.3 million followers.
On the other hand @BarackObama account is “run by #Obama2012 campaign staff” apart from those signed “bo” which are tweets from the president Obama (Kraft 2012, p. 78).
The president began enthusiastic tweeting on 19th June 2011, stating “Being a father is sometimes my hardest but always my most rewarding job…”. Since then the president has held numerous communal forums through which he has been able to discuss questions displayed on Twitter.
On 6th July 2011, Obama participated in “Twitter Presents Townhall @ the White House”. It was held at the White House and was viewed online by millions of citizens.
The president replied to questions posted on twitter about the economy where he responded to over 2000 individuals on the same day. For instance when one Speaker John Boehner tweeted “Where are the jobs?” to #AskObama, the president used 3111 characters to respond.
The event was a smooth session and Obama raised the curtains by a tweet through @WhiteHouse saying “in order to reduce the deficit, what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep” (Medvic 2011, p. 70).
This single tweet was confirmed to have received over 110,000 retweets later on. On 24th May 2012 the media declared that Obama was the first President in US history to reply to a question posted on Twitter.
On 29th July 2011 the president dispersed over 100 tweets via @BarackObama and the Congressional Republicans Twitter accounts (West 2010, p 28).
On December 2011, Barack tweeted persuading the citizens to voice their judgment on legislation while trying to legalize the American Jobs Act.
On 5th January @BarackObama twitter account among other accounts were hacked by unknown perpetrators (Medvic 2011, p. 70).
The hacker accessed passwords from the Twitter account administrator and the occurrence finally resulted to a non-financial agreement by the Federal Trade Commission.
On 4th July 2011 the president was the focus of a failed prank when FOX News’s Politics Twitter account was hacked (Medvic 2011, p. 50).
Fortunately, the hacker began the prank tweet as @BarackObama thus the message appeared on timelines of only those who followed Fox News and Obama (Medvic 2011, p. 170).
Ultimately the hacker changed to hash-tag tweeting to increase the profile of his tweets and showcase his actions. However, FOX News recognized the violation and apologized.
During the campaigns both Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney were dynamic on Twitter since it had become an essential tool for campaigns. The Pew Research Center showed that 13% of American adults have a twitter account.
Thus, Twitter’s influence on the voting patterns was only one piece of a massive communication attempt. However its influence has significantly matured over the years as millions of tweets were sent every 8 minutes on the 2008 Election Day (Medvic 2011, p. 60).
On 25th May 2010, 45% of the president’s followers were not from within US and the majority was women. At that point in time, the five industries that followed the president were the hospitality, teaching, image management, and trend and law industries.
Determining the influence of social media to the society became a new profession and individuals have developed expertise in analyzing the influence of social media.
According to news on the PBS NewsHour, the president had gained 5000 times popularity due to social media influence over Romney. Nevertheless, Obama only had 12 times influence over Romney within the population indicating that the internet did in fact enable Obama to secure the presidency.
Currently in America two thirds of all social network users are on twitter both the youth and older generations using it as a social network tool. Recent statistics show that 35% of Americans who are 65 years old and above use twitter.
There is a change in the age bracket of Twitter users which was initially composed of individuals aged between age 30 and 40 but in the recent years, the population is now composed of young people in their 20’s and teens (Smith 2013, p 96).
It is true that the 2012 elections campaigns were greatly discussed on Twitter, however not everyone who is on Twitter is interested in political campaigns. Most of them indulge in socializing with friends thus reducing the percentage of those engaging in political discourse via Twitter to 39%.
Nonetheless, despite the low percentage of Twitter users who engage in politics, this group is able to indulge their friends who are not interested in politics into discussions and even argues their views increasing the total percentage to those interested in political talk by 16%.
There has been a positive move towards effective use of Twitter as campaign handle but sadly 18% of Twitter users have dropped their accounts as a result of friends who tweet too much politics and/or do not agree with the users’ point of view.
The research on the effects of Twitter as a campaign strategy has been put under observation since 2000.
In the past years the use of internet to campaign was ignored and other channels like television and radio were prioritized but in the year 2008 there was a change (Medvic, S 2011, p. 66).
The candidate Barrack Obama wanted to reach out to the youth and this was achieved through the use of Twitter. Since then the internet has continued to be used as a fundamental campaign too (Smith 2013, p 67).
Qualitative and quantitative research will be applied to analyze the research data whereby the research data will be obtained from diverse sources that are concerned with different areas of study.
The development process of the research will require the objective analysis of relevant data which will be support decision making process.
The data will require qualitative approval which will necessitate organizing the data and deriving cogent interpretation of the research in an articulate and structured configuration.
The data will be sourced from both materials and online secondary sources from well-known authors and publishers. Quantitative data will be attained through a survey with a 5 point Likert scale from -2 to +2.
The survey will be presented to Twitter users who will be selected at random N=200.
Questions such as “How often did you the 2012 presidential candidate on twitter”, “How far did the presidential candidates’ twitter sentiments influence your voting decision” will be presented and the answer rated on a 5 points scale of “very often, fairly often, once in a while, very few times and never” or “very high, high, average, low, very low”.
The scale will be reversed across questions in the survey to ensure the participants pay attention to the questions. Statistical software and regression models will then be utilized to evaluate the correlation between voting decisions and use of twitter (Smith 2013, p 16).
If the correlation is positive whereby the correlation coefficient between variables and either progression and alignment variables is between 0.1 and 1, then we will be able to deduce that twitter has a positive influence on these variables.
If the correlation is negative, we can affirm that twitter has a negative or non-existent influence on political decisions.
In an era where everyone needs information, media stages have the essential role of informing the community about politics and voting (West 2010, p 186).
While the citizens acquire knowledge about the day to day happenings from the media, there is a primary cynicism about apathetic campaign exposure and media bias.
However, media is responsible for providing voters with the right criteria for scrutinizing candidates vying for elective office (Smith 2013, p 366).
There is a positive correlation between the citizens, government and the media, with qualitative evidence indicating that the media can easily shape public judgment.
The media can increase its efficiency by focusing on a certain agenda they think the people should be knowledgeable about rather than focusing on numerous programs (West 2010, p 86).
The government has a responsibility of supervising media’s substance before it is released to the public as a source of news.
Since the government can easily sway the media, it uses the media to help lay various political plans by focusing on specific agendas and influencing what agendas the citizens should be exposed to (West 2010, p 98).
Media is one of the best inventions that man has come with over the recent years, it is a source of income and has greatly improved peoples living standard. US is among the richest continents in the world and this is largely promoted by extreme involvement in media.
Fox, R & Ramos, J 2011, IPolitics: Citizens, Elections, and Governing in the New Media Era, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.
Kraft, D 2012, The Move On Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Krugman, P 2009, The Conscience of a Liberal, W. W. Norton, New York.
Medvic, S 2011, New Directions in Campaigns and Elections, Taylor & Francis, Boston.
Smith, R 2013, Strategic Planning for Public Relation, Routledge, London.
West, D 2010, Air Wars: Television Advertising in Election Campaigns 1952-2008, Cq Press, New York.