The importance & influence of media in times of elections

Politics is something I’m really passionate about and like to read about. But I realised that I haven’t been blogging about it a lot. The reason why is because of my idea of a politics blog. I want it to be complete, covering everything I want to say and be as detailed as possible. But mates, I have had the idea, written it out and now I’m going to present it to you! So get some crisps, get yourself something to drink and get ready to hear my opinion on: The media and elections, especially the American POTUS election.

This are a few examples of influence of the media in the history of the USA. You can see that it’s very different over the years and that these have had influence on the people. Fear of the opposition has always been a instrument of media and propaganda that has been used frequently. This is not a new thing, but I think it’s quite different from the day we live in now.

We all use a form of social media, but the more ‘conventional’ media has still got a great influence on our way of living and decision making. This has been influencing us on different levels and for many years. Some would say it’s good that the ‘old’ media of tv, newspapers and radio is till there. But it’s also a bit dangerous in this day of globalisation.

I will try to illustrate the growing gap of the American Society through a Dutch historic example and then go into the current influence of media on supporters of both the Democrats and the Republicans.

Now that is fancy word, isn’t it? Pillarisation is the politico-denominational segregation of a society. It’s something that has occurred in the Netherlands and Belgium, and has endured untill the mid 60’s of the last century. So I’m going to take the Netherlands (my country) as an example to explain what it exactly is.

In the late 1800’s a politician named Abraham Kuyper suggested the segregation or as he called it; the pillars are to be formed. At that time there were different ideologies in a fairly new nation and it was thought best to keep them apart. Keeping them apart would lead to peaceful living and everything would be separated, apart from rules and government.

The four pillars were:

  • The Protestant Pillar
  • The Catholic Pillar
  • Socialist Pillar
  • Liberal or General Pillar
So life in this society meant certain things. You were born into a pillar and you would die within in. You would go to school according to your pillar,  do activities within the pillar. You got your own radio, your own newspapers. Here are some more examples:

  • Political parties
  • Broadcasting organisations
  • Unions
  • Employers
  • Newspapers
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Sporting clubs
  • Recreation
You lived in the Netherlands, but according to specific code, a specific branch. A specific pillar and that segregated our country for over 80 years. It lef its mark on our society and still can be found in some ways. Now we are more united and the all thing do exists are described above, but no one really cares about the differences anymore in general. The wellbeing of all is the most important thing.

The reason why I told you this, is because of the feeling I have. I have the feeling that the USA is getting more and segregated through the modern media. I feel like people aren’t interacting with each other anymore, because of a certain political choice. I’m afraid this will leave a gap between families, coworkers and friends. Let me tell you why I think this is happening in the USA.

Situation in the USA
As you could see from the videoclips above, there are a few different tactics to a presidential election. You can bring out the positive in a human being, speak into the fear of people or just be negative about your opponent. The last one has strongly been around for the last decades. If you  look at Trump vs. Clinton, there’s not much positivity about their own candidacy, but more negativity about their opponents.

To understand American politics, it’s important to adjust your way of looking at things. It’s less thinking in left and right, but I think it’s more about being conservative or liberal in my opinion.

So there are quite a lot of influences of news stations in the USA and there a lot of democrat news stations that vary from Liberal to very Liberal: They bring the news from the point of view as they see it. As their was no conservative news station, Rupert Murdoch founded Fox News, which has been the biggest conservative news station since.

The biggest danger lies in the framing of the news: bringing a biased version of reality to your audience. And as that audience only looks for your news station to bring the news, that become their version of reality and their opinion is formed by only one news station.

I think it’s very important to listen to different news stations and to form your own opinion. I am not making a preference for democrats or republicans, but democrats have more news stations to choose from and make their decision. Republicans got only one and there lies the danger for me. They only hear one opinion and it has proven to be a very biased opinion at times. I think this had let to more outspoken thoughts from Republicans over the years.


In my opinion this had let to people’s biased opinions, but it hasn’t stopped people from interacting with each other, because of different opinions. That has changed with who will become POTUS. A development that shouldn’t happen, but still happens: Trump vs. Clinton. My personal opinion is to be against Trump, but not necessarily for Clinton. But that doesn’t matter how I think about it though.

The ideas of Trump are eccentric, dangerous and hurtful. The problem is not the man himself, but the supporters of the republican party. They only have one big news station that has to promote the republican candidate and will do that biased. Millions of Americans support him no matter what and they don’t pay attention to all the nonsense he pours out. That’s why Trump could proclaim Russia would never walk into Ukraine (WTF by the way) and not be judged by so many people. It’s because of the media and the fact that there’s only one conservative news station.

It also makes Clinton supporters not aware, they would support her no matter what. Why? Because everything is better than Trump. So the news will evolve about how bad Trump is, but not about what Clinton is actually going to change when she might become president. Because then Trump will be gone, but what do they know about what they are getting? That is so important.

I feel that now, more than ever, these candidates are like enemies. They couldn’t be more different from each other and that leads to confrontation between the two and their groups. There has been more and more violence related to this race to become POTUS. I feel like people are starting to act more to their political group, more and more. Discourage each other from interacting with those who thing differently and I think this is very sad to witness. In this age of globalisation we should reach out to each other and talk. Communication is the key to succes.

Stay critical
That is my message, stay critical. Not only of your opponents, but also about yourself. Question things you read, see or hear. Don’t copy an opinion, form one. If you really want to follow the news, read multiple newspapers, watch different news stations and alway ask questions. Be aware that no one is free of bias and alway will write from their perceptions, no matter what their intentions are. Be critical of positive and negative coverage.

I hope you liked this blogpost as it was one of the first I wrote in such fashion. What do you think of the news coverage nowadays? Is it good? Is it bad?


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