ERIC Number: ED184183
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Who Runs Presidential Campaigns?
Kindsvatter, Peter S.
Presidential campaigns in the last decade have provided evidence of the rising influence of the mass media campaign and of campaign consultants. The media, through their power of access to the people, manipulate the public's recognition of a candidate by the amount of coverage given. Newspaper endorsements and the reporting of media-conducted opinion polls are just two examples of how media affect a candidate's campaign. The media, especially television, have trended toward "horse race coverage," emphasizing the daily trivia of racing for votes and the stylistic similarities among campaigns, sports events, and soap operas. The most obvious effects of increased media attention to political campaigns are earlier starts and additional spending. The campaign consultant has increased correspondingly in influence as the media have assumed key roles in presidential campaigns. Consultants seek to manipulate the public media by producing favorable news about their candidate, timing the release of favorable news, and preventing unfavorable news. Consultants also try to effectively use controlled media, such as pamphlets, bumper stickers, and lapel buttons. The effect of increased media and media consultant control over presidential campaigns has made the bland, issueless, and predictable campaign more commonplace and strategically wise. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Freedom of Information Center, Columbia, MO.