Public Opinion and Propaganda COM4883 Assignment 2 Report Ahmad Aqmal Bin Ahmad RahmanSUKD1702086 Devika Ishoney A/P V
Public Opinion and Propaganda
Ahmad Aqmal Bin Ahmad RahmanSUKD1702086
Devika Ishoney A/P V. AnbalaganSUKD1600319
Danial Harris Bin AmirSUKD1702479
Propaganda during recent America’s presidential election
Elaboration of the context of the propaganda or political campaign 2
Media communication employed 3 – 4
Public opinion and media influence 5 – 7
Outcome of the campaign 8 – 9
Suggest other way this campaign can be conducted 10 – 11
References 12 – 13
Appendices 14 – 15
Elaboration of the context of the propaganda or political campaign
A political campaign is defined as an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision-making process of a group of people. In democracies, political campaigns are often conducted whereby representatives are chosen or referendums are decided. In modern day politics, usually the most high-profile political campaigns focus on general elections and candidates to become heads of state or heads of government, which could either be a president or a prime minister.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 marks the commencement of the 2016 presidential elections of the United States of America. It was the 58th quadrennial American presidential election. Representing the Republican side was businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence who had defeated the Democratic representative and former State Secretary, Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine, despite losing the popular vote by 2,868,686. Upon winning, Trump held position as the 45th president and Pence as the 48th Vice President on January 20th, 2017.
Prior to becoming presidents, during the running towards becoming the Presidents of the United States, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton implemented propaganda into their political campaigns in order to win the votes of the public.
Media communication employed
On the 16th of June 2016, Donald J. Trump formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States with a speech and campaign rally at trump tower which was televised, throughout his campaign out of 100 of America’s top circulating print newspapers only 2 endorsed his campaign, the total number of newspapers that supported the Trump campaign was 20. Television played a big part in Trumps campaign, the news station CNN gave him television coverage free of charge due to the amount of ratings Trump generated with his somewhat unpredictable speeches allowing the news station to capitalise on the opportunity given to them considering Trumps past relationship with a member of CNN’s top management. With the rise in the ‘alt-right’ movement Trump used the alternative news sources to his advantage gaining support from notable alt-news website Breitbart, who’s executive chairman Steve Bannon eventually became the Trump campaign’s chief executive, which was the most popular alt-news website at the time with Alexa online rankings putting it above other famous news websites such as the New York Post and the LA Times. Although, arguably the biggest form of media communication that Trump employed was his use of social media throughout his campaign and how it allowed Trump to release statements that resonated with people and gave people something to talk about which gave him an edge over most traditional forms of media communication. (David S. , November 2016)
Media communication employed
Hillary Clinton campaign
The bulk of Hillary Clinton’s political campaign was actually used for social media because it was the option that had the easiest versatility in terms of becoming viral, her viral messages in social media were generally the messages that were shutting down trump in terms of certain statements that he made. One of the statements were the fact that he had criticized Hillary when the previous president Obama had endorsed her, the tweet led to her replying by saying delete your account and had sparked a viral topic and within an hour it had become one of the campaign’s most retweeted post.
Even though her main flow of traffic for campaigning for the election was to be typical mainstream media the sheer numbers that come from social media platforms were significant comparing to the 2012 elections. According to Daniel Kreiss, associate professor in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the speed and volume of content production is a notable shift from 2012.
Public opinion and Media influence
Throughout the trump campaign Donald Trump had a very negative view from the public painted on him by various sources. Newspapers like the Washington times acknowledged the vulgarity and coarseness that they claimed trump possessed, and said that his image was painted in a ” one-party media” because he had “all the right enemies: the pundits, the ‘social scientists’, the Beltway insiders, the academics and the righteous mongers of failed policies.” (David S. , November 2016) While the New York Times wrote an article which states the view of the public towards Trump and what the public’s views are towards a Trump presidency, which was in the majority a negative view saying that his most damaging vulnerability was his temperament with 67% of voters viewing Trump as a risky choice for president. ( Patrick H. , Dalia S. , September 2016). Though unorthodox Trumps use of social media platforms like Twitter throughout his campaign lead to him garnering a larger following due to some of his antics while posting on Twitter such as his attempt to court hispanic voters and his defamation of his opponents (Quentin F. , November 2016). The Washington Post posted a video and published an accompanying article on a recording of Trump and a television host having a conversation which was extremely lewd about women (David A. F, October 2016), which led to backlash from media figures with many people condemning Trumps statements, having parodies of the acts in the video acted on comedy shows like Saturday Night Live and even having a womans rights demonstration in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Public opinion and Media Influence
Hillary Clinton Campaign
There are a lot of disputes regarding how the coverage of the election was done because of the possibility that it might be in favour of Hillary because the media had focused on how Trump had little to no experiences in the field of politics comparing to Hillary which has had a lot of experience being in the political scene for a while. Despite how Hillary had the more promising campaign and more promising leadership in general the news coverage regarding the two campaigns had shown that Donald Trump’s name had been mentioned a total of 14,924 article headlines from July 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016 and Hillary Clinton was mentioned in less than half that amount. Both candidates had increased mentions over the course of the campaign but most of Donald Trump’s mentions were regarding his presumptive nomination, the increase of coverage leading to the election although still favoring trump in terms of numbers Hillary Clinton’s coverage was done well to shed better light on her story however, this changed when the coverage had picked up on her private email server scandal that came in early July 2016.
The coverage of her scandal definitely had started giving her a worse Media Influence especially towards those who are already in favour of Trump to begin with. The server had apparently been used to store her personal and work data because of “convenience” however, sceptics came up with the fact that she had established it in order to give her total control to the replies. This is because she decides whether or not an email is made public to the government and can turn over specific information to specific parties such as the committee investigating the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. FBI investigations found that she had used numeral personal devices while being in office and these devices would also be connected to several email servers. Technically this was not considered to be breaking the law however the backlash of her actions towards her campaign was very devastating and because she was involved in this certain voters had even changed their mind regarding their votes.
The trust that she had regarding the voters were also due to the media covering issues like her paying for speeches and a very unclear web of business connections that was immediately thought as doubts towards how she gained the money to her candidacy. Generally the people saw that Hillary was acting as if she had no law apply to her and this was really bad in the eyes of voters because to give someone presidency with that kind of attitude could be devastating. Although she had tried to gain trust through her qualifications it was simply not enough for her because of her policies that she had wanted to apply and most of them were not even considered to be that important towards voters.
Outcome of the campaign
The Trump administration won the election with 304 votes as compared to the Clinton administrations 227 votes, which was met with varying degrees of positive and negative reactions from US citizens and the international community with many world leaders congratulating Trump on his win, in particular those of minority races and the muslim community were uneasy with the unexpected win of Donald Trump because of the promises he made during his campaign (Ali Y. , November 2016). Although because of the winning of the election some of the promises that Trump made have come to fruition with the recent immediate capture and forced relocation of illegal immigrants from Mexico in the United States back to their home countries, the conditions at which the people who are rounded up have to stay are described as inhumane due to the separating of migrant children from their parents (Nick M. , September 2018). Another issue that has cropped up since Trump won the 2016 election is the coining of the term “Twitter-based presidency” in reference to Donald Trump’s use of Twitter throughout his Presidency which has led to a much more transparent running of the office though with a higher chance of emotional responses and mistakes to occur, By posting multiple times daily, Trump and his opinions are constantly “trending,” continuously reinforcing his strong online influence (Jordan H. , May 2018
Outcome of the campaign
Hillary Clinton Campaign
The very fact that the outcome of the campaign alone was a shocking fact because she had lost to a candidate that was new in terms of politics and also was considered to be the unpopular choice among politicians and voters. This loss had shown a part of America that the expectation became the golden rule in American politics in 2016 whereby anyone who gains voters can become the President Of The United States. The Democrats in 22 US states to nominate Bernie Sanders which could have led to a different outcome however, Hillary Clinton was not in the mind of most voters to begin with due to her own issues and the fact that Trump had used a more aggressive approach in gaining voters especially those who are more geared towards alienating certain races or feel as if the country is having issues with letting people in too freely. Many people did not feel positive towards Hillary Clinton due to her statements in her candidacy not being good because wages were still the same and it felt as if it was more inequality while Trump had made a decision to convince the voters to believe that the economy was the way it is due to bad trade deals and a rigged economy. Hillary Clinton was very unconvincing to most voters and despite gaining a lot of traction during the entire voting period from celebrities saying to save the country from letting the presidency fall towards Trump the voters that appeared in the rallies for trump were generally more charged and were more likely to create the bandwagon effect for trump to become the voting choice.
Suggestion on other ways the campaign can be conducted
There are a few ways the campaign could have been conducted to lessen the negative impacts on how the public views the Trump administration, among them are having a proper screening process for Donald Trump’s tweets by having a dedicated screening team any statements that might be deemed as sensitive could be filtered out and it would give a smaller chance of there being an emotional response or a spelling error from occurring in the tweets posted as Donald Trump is so prone to do. Another method would be to have a safe and reliable process when carrying out any major operations, a process which adheres to strict moral and ethical codes so that anything that occurs is done by the guidelines of the pre-established process.
Suggestions on other ways the campaign can be conducted
Hillary Clinton Campaign
The campaign should have been given to someone who was more politically charged and had ideals that were more useful towards becoming president, however if the circumstances could not change Hillary’s involvement in becoming a candidate the campaign should mostly have been a bit more aggressive in terms of policy changes because people want to see change and sadly Hillary did not provide much in terms of it. The issue of her own personal server should have been addressed early on because it is possible to gain the light of the voters when a candidate shows that he or she is stepping forward without keeping things that could be a major game changer when it comes to the heat of the elections. The target demographic as well should have been changed because the likelihood of voters coming from people who know about the political background of each candidate would not be as apparent, voters require seeing a lot of charisma and a sense of big changes and sadly if some registered Democrats had started voting early and mentioning to the other voters they were voting it would have meant a stronger sense of voting for Hillary. This entire election had basically been a completely new and overall shows in a sense what a democratic country is and it should be up to the people to choose which party to vote for even if logically that party might be the wrong choice.
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