Term Paper: Mass Media and Congressional Campaigns

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[. . .] By purchasing 30-second flashes on the most-watched television channels, candidates may increase their familiarity.

In addition this, candidates may even succeed in having subliminal messages or slogans played on television. These are messages that work on the psychology of the public every time they see the slogan.

Subliminal messages are messages that are concealed in advertisements, and are a much-debated form of messaging to the public. Though Psychological Research has suggested the subliminal advertisement cannot possibly stimulate an individual's actions, people are still skeptical over these results because of conflicting views of some researchers who argue that these concealed messages can have an impact on individuals.

According to the APA there is no way that discrete messages could be passed on through advertising that is meant for an entirely different purpose. They say that it is impossible for the human mind to perceive messages that they are not really paying attention to. These kinds of statements seem to overwhelmingly refuter any indication of the subconscious mind at work.

In contrast to this there are many researchers who say that discrete messaging is very possible. An example of this is very well demonstrated in the way an individual tends to get up from his or her seat after a while of 'Drink Coke' has been flashed across the screen in cinemas. During adds this might be a common practice for cinema managers to do, and it is suspected that coke sales were increased by up to 20% through this means. However, the manager of a cinema who is said to have been involved in such an advertisement denies the whole practice. It is not known why he would have been so reluctant to come out with the truth about subliminal advertising. (Strahan, 2002) However, it is the image that the candidates are mainly interested in.

In present times, a good image and an equally good message is not enough, as financing a campaign is said to be as important. This is because of the understanding that the media has been bought up by several elite class groups, In order to get to the people, an individual standing for an elections would have to win the support of these elite. This is the reason why there are so many elite class people associated with the candidates. It is also known now that there are elite individuals willing to pay several handouts to candidates for perks (Voting, Campaigns and Elections, 2003).

As a result accepting these handouts, candidates once elected have no options to but to associates themselves with these kinds of individuals who or may not be corrupt. Serving them and doing them favors could become a problem for them later on, as they own large portions of the 'upper tier' of the media. It is through this ownership that the elite may do anything to expose the elected individual. Undoubtedly, this is a pessimistic side of election business, but it perhaps would also be counted as realistic.

All the money that is put into congressional elections does not come from taxpayers' pockets. In fact, in recent years there have been restrictions imposed on candidates so that there is minimum expenditure from congressional funds, and hence the taxpayers' money is saved.

Previously, congress had issued certain limits on funding and spending, and in response to this was the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), which lent partial public funding for campaigns. It also required full public response of all contributions and expenditures.

Since then, this certainly means that there is an increased reliance on private funding, which means that there would have to be more private sources willing enough to provide such service to candidates. In accordance with the ownership of the mass media, it is easier to understand how and why candidates are supported in their efforts.

The support lent to them is through the ownership of the 29 largest media systems by the elite in the U.S. The owners are the ones willing to fund the candidates. But in doing so, they know that they are totally capable of spreading the desired image of the candidate. The proportion of the media that they own accounts for more than half of the output of all newspapers, including most of the sales and audiences in magazines, broadcasting, books, and movies. The "top tier" of these output devices, which are somewhere between 10 and 24 systems, are responsible for portraying an image that is of the candidates choice. This desired image is passed down to the lower tier over whom they have less control. They are however instructed to do as planned. It is the upper tier that is so important to the candidate, as it "defines the news agenda and supplies much of the national and international news to the lower tiers of the media, and thus for the general public." In addition to this, it is the upper tier that defines whether or not a candidate will go on to be successful or not in whatever party s/he belongs to. This is because of the fact that the upper tier is excessively right wing, due to being owned by the elite capitalists in American society. As a result of this, no candidate with left wing or socialist ideas would ever stand a chance of having a positive figure carved for him or her.

In order for a candidate to get his or her image advertised the way that s/he wanted it, the candidate would have to be able to pay up the large fees required. Through handouts from private sources candidates are able to get their images to the people. However, this means that the candidates would owe something to these generous sources after they get elected.

As written in Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court upheld the reporting requirements and contribution limits, but rejected limits of spending because it was said that this action would interfere with the freedom of political speech. Though the candidate could spend how much s/he desired the incoming amount would still be restricted. However, in 1979, Congress liberalized FECA. It amended the act allowed unrestricted contributions and spending for state and local party-building in order to stimulate voting activity.

With discussing the funding that goes into campaigns through private and congressional sources it is worth asking whether money really does win an election.

Money alone is not likely to win an election for a candidate because there are a number of factors that influence congressional victory. But it must be considered that money does play a vital role ion getting one's message across to the public. A candidate who has funding in his armory will certainly progress in contrast to one that has insufficient funds.

It is also said that the more an election is uncertain, which means the less information available about the candidates, the more the chances are that money would be an integral factor in the outcome of an election.

In recent times there are several changes that have been discussed in the media. The government has been considering the type of content that is being brought to the people, and there is need to focus on who owns the media and what they are doing to society.

In recent times, the government has been considering weakening the rules of media ownership. They have realized what several of the owners are up to, and this needs to be curtailed because of the fact that the people are being misled at every election for instance. This is not the only thing that the media is responsible for misleading people. In addition to this, the youth is suffering greatly. This is because of the fact that they are being shown images that are not suitable for their growing minds, and hence they are becoming more and more volatile. Juvenile crime rate has gone up in recent times due to the influences that they are receiving through the media.

The media has the power to influence the minds of those who are enthralled by it, and in the case of adolescents and other youngsters, present-day media serves as the greatest encouragement for them to commit violent acts.

Violence on television is one of the first things that is used as bait to attract a larger number of viewers. It also appears that the Internet is not far behind, as this is the medium through which all that is available collectively on radio or television can be provided.

Perhaps more important than the destruction of the youth, the campaigns for elections that are also influenced by the power of the media is also another reason for changing the way that things are being run. It is so common that congressional campaigns are in fact not always run in accordance with the principles that they are supposed to adhere to. Three major principals that candidates for congressional campaigns should adhere to are honesty, fairness… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Mass Media and Congressional Campaigns.  (2003, November 24).  Retrieved March 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mass-media-congressional-campaigns/3447463

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"Mass Media and Congressional Campaigns."  24 November 2003.  Web.  23 March 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mass-media-congressional-campaigns/3447463>.

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"Mass Media and Congressional Campaigns."  Essaytown.com.  November 24, 2003.  Accessed March 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mass-media-congressional-campaigns/3447463.