The Effects of Media on Politicians

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Media and politicians are close. Indeed, some politicians are partners or owners of television stations, newspapers or radio stations.

What effects media could have on the image of politicians? Media are powerful and can shape a person and destroy her a few moments later. It is common for major television networks to support a candidate one day and press him down in the polls the next day.

Sarah Palin is a perfect example of the unstable relationship between politicians and media. She became famous because media have started talking about her and they have shaped the image of an engaging, smiling and determined Sarah Palin.

But a few months later, after some media excesses, the image of Sarah Palin in media has completely changed. Media have changed the vision people should have about the governor of Alaska. This is what we call in communication the "magic bullet" theory: an immediate attitude change about something or someone created by media.

This phenomenon is not unique to the United States of America. Europe is also affected by this theory. The example of Nicolas Sarkozy in France is a proof. The French president, adored by the press during the first months of his term, will be decried little by little until becoming the "Bad Guy of the Republic" as called in the magazine Marianne.

Media could be a wonderful springboard to glory but can also be those that push you towards the exit.

Photo Credit: via
Translation from left to right: Marianne: "The Bad Guy of the Republic"; Le Point: "Is He so Lame?"; Le Nouvel Observateur: "Is this Man Dangerous?"


Maddie Boswell February 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM  

I think media can harm politicians just as much as it helps them. Sure media is a great way to campaign for the political post they want, but the minute something goes wrong the media has proved to be ruthless and unforgiving.

April Sigmund February 23, 2011 at 11:26 AM  

I agree that media can really make or break a politician's career. I didn't know much about Sarah Palin until she was highlighted in the media so much in a negative way. All of my opinions of her were then based on the media.

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