Discuss if the power of the media in elections has a positive or a negative influence on our political process.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am going to suggest that the power of the media in terms of providing outlets to people is overall a good thing.  The media has been transformed into a realm where people's voices can be heard in the electoral process.  I don't see it as the media being a monolithic force, but rather a force that is comprised of many different elements of the body politic.  It is here where the media's power is evident in that it includes many voices and does constitute a force that candidates have to recognize.  The media's power in the election cycles is one where people feel that they can partake in the democratic process, thus increasing voter participation.  This has to be seen as a good thing.  Granted, there are some significant challenges in terms of ensuring that the voices being heard are enhancing discourse and that the outlets available are able to generate greater and more worthwhile exploration of political topics.  These areas must be addressed.  Yet, the reality is that the power of the media lies in how people feel more connected to the political happenings:

[Voters] had been quiet long enough. They had turned their backs on the political process long enough...They demanded to be heard through whatever electronic means were available to them.

The media's role as one that encompasses voter voice is one in which power is evident and that is a good thing, in an overall sense.  There are challenges that are still being navigated as the technology increases, making it more of a force in the electoral process.  Yet, more people are being involved in the political arena and that is on the whole a good thing.