How to analyze media and govt?

This week, when doing my readings for class, I was intrigued by the ways that politics and communication have influenced each other.  Of course, we’ve all heard the example of the Nixon/Kennedy debate.  We all heard how Nixon, extremely articulate, was sweating profusely and did not appeal to the television audience.  We all heard how Kennedy’s charm permeated the screens and came off across as confident—yet not as definitive to the radio audiences.  But in today’s society, where we have access to both radio and television, what are the implications for politics of today?
In Waisbord’s article, he makes an interesting argument.  He says, “opportunities for nation building largely vary because access to media production and consumption is different” (Waisbord 383).  As we have discussed in my Development course, many authors have made the same point: that without the access to media, societies would not be able to build themselves up.  It makes sense that nationalism goes hand-in-hand with developed nations, because they have the money and resources to create products to promote their respective nations.  While I agree, I had never thought of it that way before.  I mean, it makes sense: those countries that can afford the paraphernalia that goes along with a campaign or slogan are the ones that have the most impact.  I often wonder, though, why it is that Obama has a Twitter.  I suppose it makes him accessible to the fans who cannot watch his speeches or do not have access to the hard-copy materials.  (Watching YouTube this weekend, it may surprise you to know that I saw approximately six ads for Obama’s JOBS speech before my actual music videos.)  Working in government last semester, I saw the sheer waste of paper and other resources, first-hand.  To me, that access to media makes it almost impossible to hide.  While we have access to celebrities and corporations, we can always comment on their sites, give them feedback (negative or positive), and find out any information rapidly.
So, in a few years, will there be discussions on how social media as the only news source impacted our news cycle?


– By Tara Ashraf


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