How Media Influences Public Opinion Essay

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Abstract In our democratic society, mass media is the driving force of public opinion. Media sources such as Internet, newspaper, news-broadcasts, etc, play significant roles in shaping a person’s understanding and perception about the events occurred in our daily lives. As long as the newspapers, internet, network television, etc, continued to be easily accessible to the public, the media will continue to have an influence in shaping its opinions. Factors such as agenda-setting, framing and priming help shape the public opinions. Agenda-setting is when the media focuses their attention on selected issues on which the public will form opinion on, whereas framing allows the media to select certain aspects about the problem and then…show more content…
Researches performed over the years have indicated that media methods such as agenda-setting, priming, and framing are important factors in influencing and shaping of public opinion. Agenda-setting is one of the most important factors in shaping public opinion. Agenda-setting can be defined as the ability of the media to direct public attentions toward the issues they believe are important to the public. But whose choice is it that determines which issues are more important over others? The news media can set an agenda-setting by focus attention on selected issues on which the public will form opinions from (McCombs). The media can paint a memory in your head by repeatedly repeating the issues on different media sources as Internet, network televisions, newspapers, etc. Since these sources are the cheapest and easiest to access, the information can be view by vast number of audiences. As quoted in a 1922 classic called “Public Opinion” by Walter Lippmann, “The media are a primary source of those pictures in our heads about the larger world of public affairs, a world that for most citizens is ‘out of reach, out sight, out of mind’ and what we know about the world is largely based on what the media decide to tell us” (McCombs). In other words, what we perceived as important issues in our society are mainly determined by what the
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