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New Media and Political Communication Essay

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Abstract

Media refers to the use of various apparatus as a means of information delivery from the source to the recipients. It is a broad field categorized into social media, broadcast, electronic and digital media. In the 20th century, politicians used their power and wealth to acquire the government positions.

The new mass media techniques such as the internet, mobile phones and other forms came into place in the early 1990’s. Communication in the political aspect concentrates on the media, politicians and the voters.

Politics has turned into mass media techniques, whereby huge number of people can access the same information simultaneously. This has been done by the use of social and broadcast media. The internet is a common means of communication among people irrespective of their age.

It was recorded that, in the year 2002, magazines played the least role in the transfer of political information to the population, which is still a fact as at now. Television media has proved to be the most reliable form of mass media due to its leading position with an average of 67% for the past ten years.

In 2002, internet use, as a means of political communication, recorded 7% and in 2010, it improved to 24%. Mobile phone is commonly utilized in word of mouth communication as well as the use of text messages to deliver the political interests of various campaigners.

In the year 2010, more than half of the American citizens were online political users. This comprised of over 50% of the United States adults. 70% of these adult internet users went online to retrieve information on the mid-term elections of 2010. The number of Americans, who used the internet campaign news as their source of information regarding the 2010 elections, is over 24%.

The midterm election has also attracted many who use internet. The social networks that are widely involved include twitter and face book. At least a fifth of online adults used these social networks to obtain political information (Davis, 2010).

Political communication has been affected heavily by this media technology. This has enabled faster transfer of data worldwide, thus ensuring that citizens both in and out of the nation are adequately accessing political information. In the United States, for example, President Barack Obama effectively used social media for a great victory.

The use of new media has enabled the political candidates to have a direct relationship with the potential voters. The voters are able to inform the political aspirants of their interests and the changes most preferable to them. The political candidates thus have clear directions as to which issues are most pressing to the citizens. This has been seen to promote democracy and harmony amongst the citizens of a nation.

The candidate manifesto is also changed to suit the majority of the citizens since it’s a people generated blue print. Democracy is developed effectively and every supporter of a particular candidate will view him/herself as a key role to play towards winning the elections. This is all attributed to the use of the new media in politics (Voltmer, 2006).

The use of mobile phones, websites and social media has led to breaching of original information. This is because it is possible to manipulate information since everyone is a sender and receiver of the same. Civilization has actually come up with people, who can hack into the websites and alter the correct information. This has caused mixed feelings about the internet being a reliable source of information.

Viruses are also another source of altering the correct information, thus having a negative impact on the use of new media to hold political campaigns. Most voters are under thirty years of age, and are lovers of entertainment. Reaching out to them is, therefore, possible through utilization of the social-media such as the internet, where there is direct interaction.

This encourages the emergence of heated debates on various political issues. This is of great help, as one has to have concrete information about the candidate they support. Every person has a democratic right to support any candidate. The media has enabled people to gain absolute information on the candidates and hence give reasons why they support one candidate over the other.

The internet being an interactive media has enabled the voter’s interests to be adequately represented to the political candidate. This motivates many citizens to undertake the voting process with the hope that the government will address their needs. It has actually given citizens the power of expression towards politicians since they can communicate even in the streets as they walk to their destinations.

Social media has also made sending of donations to the political campaigners easier since the adequate contact information is readily available. It ensures transparency of the campaigner’s use of the citizens’ resources, thus holding them accountable. Citizens can actually view the budget breakdown and bring in their views on how best the donations should be used (Alia, 2010)

Today, there are over four million mobile phones in use, which are exploited in the transfer of images. In the use of new media to reach citizens, there is an influence on how the nation will be operated by the politicians making legislation and policy.

The traditional view of politicians was on the use of power to woo citizens, and then followed by a representation of their own personal desires to enrich themselves. New media will ensure that levels of corruption are brought down as well as misrepresentation in the government. This in turn will bring a subsequent growth in the national economy.

Effective communication is significant in communication sector. With the spread of civilization, many communities that were viewed as timid have adopted the new media as their form of communication. The new fiber optic is a form of media that is wide spreading in many countries. In future, it will provide for internet connection at any place, thus increasing convenience for the transfer of information.

The politicians will thus have a reliable form of communication to many citizens at a cost-efficient means. The use of traditional means of campaigning such as the use of pamphlets and magazines will be out-run by the faster and more efficient use of new media. New media decreases on costs and ensures that a large number of people are reached with information in time.

Conclusion

The use of new media by political candidates as a means to campaign has definitely risen in the 21st Century. It has brought in efficiency and promoted democracy. There is also the creation of better relationship between the candidates and the citizens, who freely express their interests, thus promising delivery. The new media is a fast growing means of communication and will grow to be the largest form of campaign worldwide.

References

Alia, V. (2010). The new media nation: indigenous peoples and global communication. New York: Berghahn Books.

Davis, A. (2010). Political communication and social theory. London: Routledge.

Voltmer, K. (2006). Mass media and political communication in new democracies. London: Routledge.

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IvyPanda. "New Media and Political Communication." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-media-and-political-communication/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "New Media and Political Communication." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-media-and-political-communication/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'New Media and Political Communication'. 30 May.

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