Anotherimportant factor in the influence of media on voter behavior is priming.
Priming is defined as the increased sensitivity of a person’s cognitiveunderstanding 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 getsrepeatedly exposed by the news media, therefore the more likely it is that anindividual will recall or retain the information in their minds. The aspects ofan issue covered in the news and the relative of these various aspects makes adifference in how people view the particular issue, since salience of theseissues is related to the formation of the public opinion (Rabinowitz et al). Bydrawing attention to certain aspects of the issues while ignoring the rest,media sources such as television and newspapers can influence how vitalinformation is obtained and perceived by the audience. Framingis another media method that greatly influences the forming of public opinion. Framingis the communication ability of the media to lead the public in accepting aparticular interpretation over others.
Agenda-setting and framing are related,but not until recently did researchers and political scientists understand thatframing is an extension of agenda-setting itself (Scheufele). The media is ableto frame an issue in the headlines by selecting specific aspects regarding thestory and then embellish them to make them appear more important than they arein reality. Framing enhances the problem definition, interpretation andevaluation (Scheufele).
On a personal basis, frames are the direct outcomes ofhow the media depict the issue to the public audience. According to Scheufele’swriting, “framing and presentation of events and news in the mass media canthus systemically affect how recipients of the news come to understand theseevents. Frames within the news media can influence the public opinion bystressing specific aspects, values, or facts and make them seem more salientthan they might be under another situation. Because of this, framing isconsidered as one of the greatest contributing factors to the outcome of aperson’s understanding and opinions of the issues presented in the media.
Thesame understanding and opinions that is being spoon fed to the American votingpopulace will be voting in the next election, affecting public policy.