The media and presidential elections

The media and presidential elections - limited. The sound...

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The media and presidential elections The election of a president is a media event in which literally thousands of reporters  descend on the states with early primary elections. Instead of concentrating on the  issues and the candidates' programs, the reporters' coverage tends to stress which  candidate is ahead or where each stands with a particular group of voters. This focus on  the "horse race" has led media organizations to invest in repeated opinion polls during  the campaign. Along the same line, the reporting of televised presidential debates  emphasizes who "won" and "lost" and not the ideas that were exchanged.  In addition to hiring pollsters, presidential candidates employ media consultants who are  responsible for presenting them and their messages in the most effective way. Media  consultants understand that, even in an election year, airtime on the nightly news is 
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Unformatted text preview: limited. The sound bite, a term that describes a politician's succinct remark, fits well into this limited format. These strategists also design the candidates' television advertising campaigns. Most of the money raised for a candidate goes for television ads, particularly in large states like California, New York, and Texas. Although the public and the media often complain about it, negative advertising works. A negative ad is one that focuses on what opponents have done or the positions they have taken rather than on the candidates' own views, and it often distorts the record. In the 1988 presidential election, George Bush effectively used a photograph of Willie Horton, a rapist who committed murder while on a release program, to stress that Michael Dukakis was soft on crime....
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