Politicians and the Exploitation of the Media

Politics and the media have a long relationship. The media is necessary for politicians to get the exposure they need to be elected. The media needs politicians to get the story and be the best. Media, for the most part, is a truth-seeking organization. The media will somehow unearth things which highlight a politician’s suitability or unsuitability to enter office. Many people blame the media for manipulating the public. However, did we ever think about how politicians manipulate the media to get what they want? The media can expect a whole lot of manipulation by the politicians when the time comes to run for office.

Politicians are well-known for playing the media to their advantage. For example, let’s take the rallies which are organized by supposed supporters of the candidate in question. The media will cover the supporters and show the public how others want the candidate in office, not realizing that most of these “supporters” are the candidate’s campaign workers. Most often, during a rally, campaign workers and volunteers; dress up as everyday people, and work together to show the media that the candidate is supported by many. This is the illusion many politicians exploit the media for. The politicians select their volunteers and campaign workers carefully so that they fit the public’s requirements. For example, young people are hired and shown in the background when the candidate is speaking in front of young voters. And the media, not knowing that these supporters are the “hired help”, cover it and show it to the public. Thus, the politicians get what they want. This is how politicians manipulate the media.

Politicians don’t want the media to know everything, but do need them to get through to the people. The media is always waiting for an opportunity to get a good “story”. The media will wait for the moment when a call will come in saying a candidate wishes them to be present during an important meeting or conference. They are not informed on what the conference or meeting is about, and it will turn out to be the same old announcements that have been coming down the line. Yet, the media will have to cover it. The invited media is told what they can and cannot ask and this can be misleading to the media. For example, the candidate’s recent sex scandal may be off limits although more interesting than the topic they are told to discuss and query.

Politicians love TV and print advertisements. They will do everything in their power to get a spot on TV or radio. This type of advertisement does not tell the public anything about the candidate, and the candidate has the right to print whatever information he/she wants. The media is exploited by politicians in such a way through TV and print advertisements that most media will not be able to change anything printed or show because of various Acts and Regulations concerning politicians.

The media are not the only ones who use their abilities incorrectly. Politicians too, use the media for their gain. People cannot blame the media only for corruption and various other negative factors of politics. The politicians too are to be blamed.