Role of Media in Voting Related Matters

All of us acknowledge the role of media in our modern society, but we actually spend little time to determine the extent of this phenomenon. The truth is media doesn’t just have a big impact; it has a huge impact and one with great consequences, in most areas of daily life. For instance, take a second to think about how elections are influenced by newspapers and television, not to mention the internet blogs and websites. Since it's no longer possible, as it was in ancient Greece, to develop and practice direct democracy, modern society has resorted to representation. But how do representatives actually communicate with the represented? Directly, more or less: through the media.

Who keeps the people informed on the latest polls and surveys as well as about the latest achievements and misdemeanors of the candidates? The media, of course. The media hosts debates in which candidates can confront each other directly, it presents their platforms and most importantly, the media is there when the elections actually happen, monitoring the vote, giving partial results, signaling any wrong doing and any problem that might occur. Believe it or not, a lot of shady deeds would be committed if it weren’t for the media fright. Politicians have a sort of respect mixed with fear when it comes to this powerful, apparently all mighty force.

Media covers trials, it informs people about the rights they have, about disenfranchisement and similar issues concerning suffrage. The question is, is the media totally impartial? At first, we would be tempted to say no, without hesitation. Somebody always owns one media company or the other; hence the influence. However, staying impartial or trying to is part of the media process, so even if the impartiality never goes up to 100% it still exists in democratic societies. The matter is totally different in countries with authoritarian regimes: here the media does but one thing – it promotes the image, the values and information concerning the dictator and his party. Still, in most new democracies,the media played a crucial role in the abolishing of dictatorships.

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