Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day: Communication and the Freedom of “Vote”

I voted today and proudly wear a sticker declaring this fact. I have now been witness to several campaign strategies in the Commonwealth. Candidates have invaded my media-space over the course of the last several months. This is a privilege I do not take lightly. The ability to vote, to voice an opinion, is a significant blessing. What never ceases to amaze me, as I witness the electoral process year after year, is the potential media influence on candidate choice. We are consumers of media. As consumers, messages are often tailored to suit us and, in many ways, the messages we receive set our personal beliefs and voting agenda. Today serves as a reminder to view election-based messages as a responsible consumer, as a critical-thinking consumer, recognizing that the communication we receive has been tailored to shock and amaze. Campaign message analysis should be approached responsibly with the understanding that these messages have been crafted to reinforce or drastically change our opinions. Media influence and agenda-setting are not new theoretical concepts but I pause today to remember the importance of being heard and the importance of responsibly “hearing” messages during the election season.