The Instigator
meganec
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
horisam
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The influence of the media is detrimental to the American political process

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,869 times Debate No: 44342
Debate Rounds (3)
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meganec

Pro

This is the LD debate topic right now; wanting to see different opinions/stances. Simply put, is the way the media is presented to the modern american harming the democratic process?

I would like to begin by defining the terms (stated in the resolution) as follows: MEDIA as:// the main means of mass communication [especially television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet] regarded collectively (oxford english dictionary)

DETRIMENTAL:// Causing damage or harm (oxford english dictionary)

POLITICAL PROCESS:// the process of the formulation and administration of public policy usually by interaction between social groups and political institutions or between political leadership and public opinion (merriam webster)

The value I will be upholding in this debate is democracy. As our political process is a democratic political process, valuing democracy is logical.

My criterion is upholding the will of the people, which can ONLY be achieved through democracy

My contentions this round are as follows

1- the media undermines the will of the people & controls what issues are important in the public"s mind.
2-There is no such thing as a completely objective point of view.

1. the media undermines the will of the people & controls what issues are important in the public"s mind.
The media undermines the will of the people by focusing coverage not on issues essential to citizens but to the sport of campaigning, who is winning and who is losing. Similar to the way we view a sporting event, Americans tend to get caught up in the glamor of competition because of they way it is presented to us. (according to The Wall Street Journal) "Since 1952"when Dwight Eisenhower's You like Ike, I like Ike, Everybody likes Ike" commercial "campaigns have spent most of their budgets on TV and radio."
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Relying more on [the media] for political information means we will come to trust sources that won't always be...edited for accuracy. [For example,] the widespread Internet distribution of a fake Kenyan birth certificate for President Barack Obama, and the video of Mr. Obama's June 2009 Cairo speech edited to appear as though the president is admitting he's a Muslim. The latter was so cleverly edited that even otherwise sensible people are taken in. How to minimize and discredit anonymous Web smears is a real challenge."

SUBPOINT A: the media controls the information we receive, and uses that to their advantage.
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, recently told the New Yorker magazine, "With the Internet, with YouTube, with TiVo, with cable TV, people are selective viewers now. .R01;.R01;People approach their news consumption the way they approach their iPod: You download the songs you like and listen to them when you want to listen to them." That affects the way reporters spend their days and the way campaigns craft their message.

2. There is no such thing as a completely objective point of view. No matter how much we may try to ignore it, human communication always takes place in a context, through a medium, and among individuals and groups who are situated historically, politically, economically, and socially. This state of affairs is neither bad nor good. It simply is. Bias is a small word that identifies the collective influences of the entire context of a message. Politicians are certainly biased and (infamously) overtly so. They belong to parties and espouse policies and ideologies. Journalists also speak from political positions" although the journalistic ethics of objectivity and fairness are strong influences on the profession, journalistic objectivity is not pristine. (Rhetorica.net)
in 2012, Fox News shared with us their own personal bias in a "segment [that] shows that the way the news is presented can influence a casual observer"s consumption of the news in a way to sway your opinion. A four-minute segment critical of President Obama, but factually correct, is causing a mini-uproar among media critics."
As Michael Brown, Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security watched the video he "had to remind [himself] that this was a "news segment" and not an attack ad produced by the Romney campaign. As [he] watched it, [he] found [himself] agreeing with the facts contained in the segment, but questioning the "presentation." After watching the entire segment it was clear that this a great opportunity to show that how the news is presented from either end of the political spectrum can affect our perception of the news."

Thus we see that the media's influence is harming the democratic process. Thank You :)
horisam

Con

I will start my argument by arguing that though media may be biased it is still better then having no media. While it is true that the media is currently extremely biased it is largely a reflection of the American political climate. The will of the people currently very divided and the media reflects that. The media helps to certify in the minds of the viewers that they are correct it does not create new ideas or alter any persons view of a matter other than to make that individual believe that they are correct more strongly than they did before. An informed public is important for a democracy to work. While a entirely unbiased media would be nice it will likely never happen. The public controls what the media finds important not the other way around. People do get caught in believing that a single political party is always correct but this is part of human nature and not caused by the media. The media may have an agenda but that agenda largely reflects the public view. By the public I mean the group that that media relies on for viewers. For example Fox News largely reflects the conservative agenda because most of the people who watch it are conservative however it does not change any real view of the issue because the people who were watching already had the same solution or thought about it in the same way as Fox News did because Fox News needed to figure out what the conservatives wanted them to say and then say it to get views. To sum it up my argument states that though there is extreme bias in the media that bias does not create bias in the public, instead bias in the public creates bias in the news. People seek out the news channels and media that has the same view as they do.
Debate Round No. 1
meganec

Pro

meganec forfeited this round.
horisam

Con

Democracy depends on an educated public. Without an educated public(even one that is extremely biased) there is really no hope for democracy. An educated but biased public exists because the Internet allows us to find people with the same opinion as ourselves. I will concede one point, the media and the public are largely focused on who is winning and supporting their political affiliations. This is simply a byproduct of the web. I can now get a different media channel than my neighbor allowing me to seek out those who agree with me and avoiding those who disagree. This isn't always bad though. For the people in the middle who watch a moderate news station, CNN and BBC come to mind, this provides interesting debate by people they know for both sides. The people who watch the extremely biased news stations would have voted that way anyways but it allows for more debate between the common people(non influential people) influencing the moderates who are the ones who truly decide who wins overall with a few exceptions. Many states are strictly partisan but swing states are decided by the moderates and swing states are determined by moderates.
Debate Round No. 2
meganec

Pro

meganec forfeited this round.
horisam

Con

I am sorry if I did do any part of this debate correctly. Could you please tell me if I did anything incorrect in the comments. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
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