Theories: Media Mobilization

1352 Words6 Pages
.1 Considering the Theories: Media Malaise and Mobilization
At the root of the growing divide between the large media networks and their audience’s increasingly negative opinion of them as well as this relationships’ impact on everyday politics lies the theory of media malaise versus mobilization. This theory is particularly interesting to explore in the case of the Sanders campaign, a campaign or movement—as Sanders himself likes to call it— that prided itself on having a grassroots structure and funding, thus relying on civic engagement and volunteers to keep the campaign afloat. After all but eliminating Hillary Clinton’s 60 point lead in the polls (Queally “Once Ahead”), this grassroots campaign strategy proved to be very effective as
…show more content…
However, this is also where initial academic discussions surrounding this topic become problematic and too focused on a surface-level analysis of the theory. Nowadays much of the academic research supports the idea of a more intricate interplay of the medium through which the news is consumed as well as the intrinsically negative or positive messaging of the news. Studies that have been more specific in determining the different variables and assigning value to their findings have succeeded in discovering more definite results. For the purpose of this paper, which does not go into a detailed analysis of these differing variables and how they have affected the audience’s perception during the Democratic primary, a more general introduction to the idea of media malaise and mobilization will be offered as a foundational theory to consider while studying the current American media landscape and media consumers’ distrustful opinion of…show more content…
Some recent studies have found no evidence to support the claim that the media negatively influences civic engagement (Moy and Scheufele 744), however, in Moy and Scheufele’s research it is important to note that the analysis is based on data from the 1996 presidential election. Since then the public perception of the media has reached historic lows, particularly among Independents and Republicans. Within the theory of mobilization, there is another branch of findings, which are frequently lumped in with studies that are similar to that of Moy and Scheufele in their claim that media does not negatively influence the public’s political engagement. While one could not classify this other research as a category completely separate from mobilization, it is important to highlight them since they do stray from the general consensus among mobilization theorists. One of these studies is that of De Vreese and Semetko, which focuses on the media coverage and reception during the Danish referendum. The differences between the United States’ and European media and political environment are explicitly stated and highlighted, giving the disclaimer that due to the difference in political processes, the researchers have come to results that differ in certain areas (620). With that in
Open Document