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The Role of Media in Shaping Public Opinion And Political Discourse

 For many years since social media has taken off, people have witnessed the rise in popularity of Buzzfeed, Youtube, Facebook, influencers, and public opinion in the media, which has changed to result in political discourse. 

  Media outlets represent having a responsibility to the public, and this obligation shown in today's media outlets will prioritize page views, sensationalism, or political agenda resulting in the spread of misinformation and the erosion of confidence in the media. For example, in the 2016 Presidential Election, much media coverage revolved around Trump shining a light to receive traffic from audiences. 

“At the heart of it, the media's role is to seek out the truth and present a fair and balanced report. It is not the media's role to pick a side and only cover that one point-of-view, or fail to report important information entirely. Because the media chose not to in this way (on both sides of the aisle), the public left with an amount of biased reporting it has to shift through itself,” said Trish Nitschke, CEO of the Center for Business Communication Excellence.

 Nitschke expressed where influencers fit in, and influencers play a different role in serving public opinion and political discourse. “Influencers are essentially paid for their opinions. They don't fall under the same ethical guidelines as journalists. Businesses and organizations bring on influencers who will not only increase followers and engagement with the brand's values and beliefs. Some influencers are outspoken about politics, and some organizations want a very vocal influencer to speak and support a specific candidate or political party. Influencers have the right to free speech, and if a brand's consumers don't like it, they can choose to purchase products or services from someone else.”        

 The CEO of the Center for Business Communication Excellence spoke about public opinion and political discourse around the reporting. “Ethical reporting in the court of public opinion and political discourse involves truthful facts and responses from both sides of an issue as best to the reporter's ability. It is not the responsibility of the reporter, editor, or media outlet to decide which information is important or which candidate is better. The responsibility lies in presenting the facts in an unbias way so the public can form its own opinion about issues and candidates.”

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Tags: Media News Latest News Public Opinion Political Discourse


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