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date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the changing nature of the media's power to influence electoral decision making, reviewing the vast research on the effects of media content, including agenda-setting, priming, persuasion, learning, and the influence of visual and emotional cues on information seeking and opinion formation. The internet and expanded sources of political information such as soft news and entertainment programs are making the construction of political messages and meaning more dynamic and participatory. Appearing on talk shows and entertainment programs helps candidates relate to voters personally and add emotional dimensions that become critical to voters' candidate evaluations. Constructionist perspective argues that socioeconomic conditions, institutions, culture, and emotions all shape the activities and communications of content providers, campaigns, and audiences. The media play an important and evolving role in American elections.

Keywords: media, American elections, vote, electoral decision making, internet, entertainment programs, talk shows, constructionist perspective

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