Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Television and Power

In The Power Game, Smith discusses the effect of new media, specifically television, on the power game. He refers to it as a "major revolutionary ingredient in the new power mix", and says that new outlets for political news have allowed more politicians to be heard and become "policy entrepreneurs. However, I would say that since Smith wrote The Power Game, these new political news outlets have become more of a hindrance to power than he lets on. Michael Robinson argued that "the changes in the media have given...members more political visibility --and hence greater power -- than ever before". I would argue that many news outlets don't let voters come to their own conclusions, and instead act as a barrier between a politician's message and the voter. News outlets on television provide so much different coverage and so many different viewpoints that they undermine a politician's message rather than make it clearer. Thus, television in the 21st century often does more to hinder power than to spread it around.

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