ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dumbing Down Choice

The next election will test how far television news can affect voter choice.

With the advent of election season, surveys and predictions are in full flow. The new factor in the forthcoming elections in several states and for Parliament is likely to be the impact of the media in voters’ choice. Is the belief that the media today can affect political trends exaggerated, or are political watchers underestimating the influence of the media?

The reach of various media is one factor that could partly answer this question. There has been much discussion recently, most of it in the traditional media, on the apparent growing influence of the new social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook. With major political parties setting up units to respond to social media, one would imagine that this could play an important role in influencing voter choices. The reality, however, is somewhat different at the moment, although it could change rapidly in the near future.

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