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Political Advertising and the Agenda Setting Theory

            The issues of political parties using the Agenda Setting Theory, for political advertising campaigns is questionable of its effectiveness on voter opinions and behavior. There are key factors that actually influence public opinion and voting behavior. Opinions and voter decisions are based on news media coverage to an extent. Voter political party affiliations also play a role in opinions and voting behavior. Voters get their information from certain sources, which then lead to the different types of political advertising that tend to be most effective when using the Agenda Setting Theory, which seems to not really work ideally to its purpose nor ethical in some cases.
             The media - political parties in this case - utilizes the Agenda Setting Theory to focus public attention on a specific topic or one side of a story, therefore skewing the public's perspective. The media's priorities strongly influence public opinion. Newspapers choose to place the most important news on front pages as a means of grabbing attention in big and bold font. These newspaper stories are also typically televised, further reinforcing the media's agenda setting telling the viewers/ voters what is important. Social media, as an alternative to traditional media sources, also influences voter opinions and voting behavior. Candidates would have their advocates create false twitter accounts and manipulate the number of followers for credibility. Increased exposure to media does not affect viewers with established viewpoints. Overall, media influences voters, but it is uncertain that Agenda Setting isn't really what influences public opinion. However, the argument here is that people should be able to differentiate the bias from the Agenda intentions compared to the actual content itself. In many cases though voters cannot differentiate and decipher content, therefore Agenda Setting sometimes is successful but that does not mean that utilizing this method is really ethical.

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