Social Media And Its Impact On Voters Essay

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Conceptual Explication
In sharp contrast to past elections when candidates campaigned in-person, the 2016 election has been significantly mediated through mass media. With such a large influence on voters, the media not only determines which issues and events are salient in voters’ minds, but also how voters evaluate candidates. Moreover, media coverage, depending on its content, can influence whether voters think about candidates in terms of campaign issues or candidate attributes.
This study examines second-level agenda setting, a process through which the media makes candidate personality traits salient in the audience’s mind through promoting an agenda of attributes. According to McCombs, Llamas, Lopez-Escobar, and Rey (1997)
“Just as a painter draws colors and forms from reality to create a representation that is no longer reality itself, but an image of it, the news media select attributes of candidates to construct images appropriate to news stories about the election while the political parties select attributes of the candidates to construct images in their political advertising aimed at winning votes”. By analyzing two newspapers in terms of second-level setting, this paper strives to answer the following research question. In the 2016 election, did liberal or conservative media present more second-level agenda setting in terms of: frequency of candidate issue coverage and candidates attribute coverage and nature of the issue frame and nature of
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