Guest Author - Stephanie Romero
There is no denying that the media plays a big part in politics. Not everyone in politics is pleased with that reality. I have been seeing a clip of President Obama being played. He is talking to students about the media environment that they are being raised in. It is one that “bombards” them 24/7. He mentioned how iPad’s, Xbox’s, and iPod’s can become a distraction.
President Obama also states that the bombardment exposes them to “all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter.” No matter which media outlet you watch, the reality is that Americans are greatly influenced by it. There is one particular news station that many feel is out to get Obama. You can look at it that way or you can look at it as a news source that is out to get the truth. I suppose it depends on what side of the fence you are on.
It used to be that political ads were only found on the television and then, only when it was election time. Now politics surround us through computers and yes, even video game systems. Interestingly enough, the technology that Obama just chastised was once a platform for his campaigning. An “Obama for President” billboard was advertised in the racing game “Burnout Paradise” on Xbox 360. Hmmm…I guess that wasn’t the same kind of distraction Obama was talking about recently.
We are also facing a new type of media that is affecting politics and that is, social media. MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are reaching a wide audience and playing politics very well. It is estimated that over 136 million grass-roots text messengers are now making waves. We also have information at our disposable through our cell phones, satellite radio, web sites and bloggers. It is a plethora of information that can be difficult to sort through.
Pretty much whatever you believe, whichever party you stand for, whichever politician you like…you can utilize the media to selectively build on your beliefs. It’s kind of like your iPod. No longer do you have to purchase an entire album. You can select particular songs that you enjoy. You don’t force yourself to listen to something unpleasant and that is what is happening with media and politics.
This also allows you to connect with other like-minded individuals. You can swap and share information. You can retweet, instant message and participate in chat rooms with those who believe as you do.
There is no denying, nor stopping, the influence of the media. It is at our disposable, to our liking, 24/7. This can be seen as either good or bad. It depends on the person you ask. Some would maybe like to stop the media’s influence but after all, this is America and we do enjoy our freedom of speech, don’t we?