Politics In Media Essay

Social Media and its Impact on Politics

March 10, 2016

by Vineeta

Indian Politics is changing and one of the changes is the dependency over social media to connect with the people. India is a country of diversity and youth makes up a huge 34% of the total population of our country. The best way to reach such a massive community is to connect with them through social media which plays important part in their lives.

AAP ‘s Use of Social Media

During the Delhi elections in 2015, the power of social media was clearly felt. AAP used the modern way of campaigning and reached out to public. They were using the tool in a way no one has ever thought of. Most of their leaders made their presence felt on Facebook and Twitter. From Arvind Kejriwal to their grassroots workers, everyone leveraged social media to ensure that they are reaching out to larger audience. All this while, the BJP was trying to win the hearts of people by using the conventional way, the more familiar way of campaigning by going door to door and conducting rallies. Election results turned out to be the game changer and it also made sure that the social media will continue to play a vital role in the coming years of Indian politics.

Use of Social Media in Politics

Since that time, use of social media in politics has significantly increased. There are various ways by which people connect, by commenting, creating memes and even trolling. Their news feed is the space which they own and feel more comfortable. They don’t have to move out of their room to follow a certain political face or to be a part of campaign. The dependency over print media and electronic media has reduced as people can now be a part of news, express their views with others on this platform. Videos and pictures of sting operation are shared on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms showing the truth without any moderation. The common man participation in politics has increased.

The recent use of social media websites by Indian government has been much talked about. Mr. Suresh Prabhu, along with his team, very efficiently used Twitter for helping out the Indian Rail passengers in need. From sending food to school children by taking action on a tweet to helping women who tweeted that she is in distress due to harassment faced in her train journey, he has done everything right so far. Ministry of Railway’s heartiest efforts were truly a sweet surprise for the people who got assistance when they needed it the most. HRD Minister Sushma Swaraj has also been quite active on twitter and she also made her presence felt by promptly assisting on request over her twitter handle.

Social media has influenced politics and it has also increased interest of people in politics. The political parties have now taken social media as one of the most important channels for their public relations activities and almost every party has its official pages on Facebook and twitter where they post political updates, press releases and news about their campaigns. In recent times, social media has been a integral part of politics and its growth seems to be continuous.

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The Power Of The Media In Politics

The Power of the Media in Politics

   The mass media possesses a great deal of influence in society and

politics in the United States.  Newspapers, radio, magazines and television

are able to use their own judgment when reporting current events.  The

power of the mass media is an asset to the government in some instances and

a stumbling block in others.  Recent technology and regulations related to

the media have improved the means by which the public can get

information.  The final say in what goes into a story, however, belongs to

the reporter alone.  His opinions and biases are often a main part of the

news the public receives.

     The mass media is the means by which the citizens of the United States

are informed of current events in politics.  This gives the media huge

amounts of power and control.  Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell stated

in 1974, "An informed public depends upon accurate and effective reporting

by the news media.  No individual can obtain for himself the information

needed for the intelligent discharge of his political responsibilities."

Powell is saying that it is the media's responsibility to inform the

citizens of the news, because people cannot get this information by

themselves, and in order for the people to fulfill their responsibilities

as citizens, such as voting, they need to be informed.  Lewis Powell goes

on to say,

        "For most citizens, the prospect of personal familiarity with

        newsworthy events is hopelessly unrealistic.  In seeking out the

        news, the press therefore acts as an agent of the public at large.

        It is the means by which people receive that free flow of

        information and ideas essential to intelligent self government."

     No citizen is able to obtain all of the "newsworthy" information they

need alone.  The press provides the people with the information necessary

for democracy in the United States.

     According to our textbook, United States Government Democracy in

Action, the mass media has been referred to as the fourth branch of

government. (527) By simply associating the media with the other three

branches of government implies the power of the mass media.  The

information relayed by the media to the people has played a major part in

the democracy of the United States.

     The advancing technologies in today's world help the media to portray

their political views.  Television provides the opportunity for political

figures to address the public directly, instead of through written means

only.  In the early 1800's few people actually subscribed to a newspaper.

Those who didn't could hear the latest news in local taverns, and often

those who did subscribe would mail the newspaper to their friends after

they read it. (Remy 52)  This way of circulating news was slow and

ineffective.  Newspaper distribution increased...

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