important factor in the influence of media on voter behavior is priming.
Priming is defined as the increased sensitivity of a person’s cognitive
understanding to certain media coverage due to prior exposure (Rabinowitz et al).
The effects of priming does have an impact a person’s decision-making ability.
Similar to agenda-setting, priming is utilized whenever an issue gets
repeatedly exposed by the news media, therefore the more likely it is that an
individual will recall or retain the information in their minds. The aspects of
an issue covered in the news and the relative of these various aspects makes a
difference in how people view the particular issue, since salience of these
issues is related to the formation of the public opinion (Rabinowitz et al). By
drawing attention to certain aspects of the issues while ignoring the rest,
media sources such as television and newspapers can influence how vital
information is obtained and perceived by the audience.
is another media method that greatly influences the forming of public opinion. Framing
is the communication ability of the media to lead the public in accepting a
particular interpretation over others. Agenda-setting and framing are related,
but not until recently did researchers and political scientists understand that
framing is an extension of agenda-setting itself (Scheufele). The media is able
to frame an issue in the headlines by selecting specific aspects regarding the
story and then embellish them to make them appear more important than they are
in reality. Framing enhances the problem definition, interpretation and
evaluation (Scheufele). On a personal basis, frames are the direct outcomes of
how the media depict the issue to the public audience. According to Scheufele’s
writing, “framing and presentation of events and news in the mass media can
thus systemically affect how recipients of the news come to understand these
events. Frames within the news media can influence the public opinion by
stressing specific aspects, values, or facts and make them seem more salient
than they might be under another situation. Because of this, framing is
considered as one of the greatest contributing factors to the outcome of a
person’s understanding and opinions of the issues presented in the media. The
same understanding and opinions that is being spoon fed to the American voting
populace will be voting in the next election, affecting public policy.