The influence of the mass media on the electoral process in the western democracies, specially the television in the last years, can get to crush the daily life during the electoral period. Some maintain that the selection are won or are lost based on the performance of a party in the television and print media and, to a lesser extent, in the radio. Since the media nowadays dominates the selections in some countries, he is surprising that the regulation of the information has a low profile in the electoral legislations of the world.
In the democracies of Western Europe and the East, the television is the main means so that the parties spread their messages. The average forms also have a high impact in these areas, as it has the radio to a lesser extent. In other countries, particularly of Africa, the radio plays a very important role in the electoral process. The newspapers tend to be partidized, whereas the television networks and national radio are accused to favor to the government in functions. Three types of media cover exist basically: free access for candidates and political parties; access paid for both groups and publishing cover through radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
The media have an irreplaceable paper on the actual society, because the democracy it’s a system based on the public opinion, the confrontation and the coexist of them. The creation of that we call “public opinion” depends in a very big way in the work of the media.
It is interesting to compare the approaches of the media cover in the United States and Great Britain. In the United States exists a system of access paid to the publicity and little regulation. In the United Kingdom the paid access to electronic media strictly is prohibited, although the newspaper publicity is allowed and widely is used that’s why the print media is more widely used in the UK. Also in the United Kingdom the political parties have gratuitous access to the average ones sources to make transmissions of between five and ten minutes that virtually flood the screens when the selections are coming. The political debate, so used in the United States and considered so popular in the democracies developing, never has been successful in the United Kingdom. It is not unusual that an electoral organism has regulatory attributions on such debates, although in recent years in the United States some candidates has refused to them and the participation in certain debates have taken the case before the courts.
In nowadays, a politic formula or candidate who wants to make a good electoral campaign, not only cannot live without the media participation, also, it cannot go to offer a political platform to the electorate without an intelligent and equilibrate media campaign. In another case, his performance will be a political suicide, an also a waste of time, energy and money.
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