Reflect or Shape
Need help with my writing homework on Reflect or Shape. Write a 2500 word paper answering; Public opinion has often been used to influence voting patterns during electoral periods, but the influence that public opinion holds goes way beyond politics and elections. It influences culture, literature, arts and even fashion (Bratton et al. 2004).
The major issue, however, is if public opinion does actually exist and the role of the media on the issue of public opinion. This has become a very controversial subject, in relation to whether the media is responsible for the creation of this public opinion or the media just reflects the opinion. The media and its activities have come under sharp criticism of the years. Some people consider the media responsible for the creation of trends on consumption, politics and other issues (Noelle-Neumann, 1993). The media often chooses a particular point of view and represents it as the opinion of the public. This has the impact of influencing people to look at certain issues from particular angles. During the election period, blame has from time to time been put on the media for swaying voters to vote in a particular fashion in the pretext of opinion polling (McFall, 2002).
The media on numerous occasions has insisted that the reports they give represent public opinion. This is in relation to what the majority of citizens think or what people would want to be done. The media has constantly denied that the perspective they give on issues creates some sort of public opinion. However, when the media airs a story, individuals who had no opinion or knowledge on the matter will begin to show interest. Individuals who take close interest on issues after they have been aired on radio, television or in print media are likely to look at the issue from the angle of the media practitioners. This in essence is creating a public opinion. The media however claim that does not create the .opinions and only marginally influences the opinions individuals already have on issues. From the autonomous judgement, though it is obvious that many stories done by the media are aimed at creation of opinions on issues.