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“Attitude and Role of Media” Through the American Elections

The American elections are one of the most important political events in the contemporary global world. It is a political event with economic, social, and political implications in every region of the world and an event closely followed on all continents. In a political event that is crucial for America and the world, the media also occupies a significant position. Media plays a significant role in the functioning of the system and the fulfillment of democratic purposes in democracies; therefore, the media’s attitude is one of the determining factors in achieving democratic goals. In modern democracies included in the representative democracy system, the media play a fundamental role in the system’s functioning. The selection process is as understandable as the media communicate the candidates to the people. 

The role of media in the elections is much more significant than many think, as can be clearly understood from the role of media in the 2020 American elections. The American elections are great examples for us to understand the importance and influence of the media. The 2020 elections have again proved that the media is an indispensable part of a healthy democracy.

The 2020 American presidential candidates were also aware of the impact of media. For ads, they spent two more than the 2016 election. A study revealed that television commercials are still important. Candidates gave great importance to even television commercials. This situation shows that the media is significant before the elections as it is essential during the elections and after the elections.

American Election in Media

It would not be wrong to describe the 2020 American elections as one of the most ambiguous elections with conflicts and uncertainties in American history. The media claimed that Trump would deliver an early victory speech regardless of the outcome. After the election took place, both candidates made conflicting statements. Trump claimed that the votes were stolen. Channels such as MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNBC interrupted President Trump’s speech on the grounds that it contained false information. On the other hand, Twitter added a note that claims tweets might be suspicious of Trump’s election-related tweets.

The following text about Trump’s early victory statement was included in a report by the English news channel the Guardian Vivian Schiller, a former president and CEO of National Public Radio who was also NBC News’s chief digital officer, said that news organizations have no excuse for being unprepared for such an eventuality. Headlines such as “Trump declares victory” on social media could “shape public opinion and become a weapon against truth and trust in the democratic process,” she told the Guardian. (Pilginkton&Hern,2020). This news is an election day and an excellent example of one side of the American media’s attitude towards President Trump. It is possible to see the same attitude in American newspapers. The New York Times report titled “The disinformation is coming from inside the White House” dated November 5.

From the Side of Europe

For Europe, the 2020 American elections were of great importance. These two powers, acting together since World War II, experienced the coldest period in history due to Trump’s policies. According to the election results, Europe was one of the countries that closely followed the elections, planning to produce new approaches such as establishing a joint army. During the election, European media focused on the lengthy counting process and conflict between candidates. The British newspaper The Guardian published the newspaper, dated November 5, with Biden’s photo on its front page with the headline “no one will take away our democracy”, referring to Trump’s announcement of early election victory. Therefore, Financial Times, also a British newspaper, chose to include both Trump and Biden’s words in its news about the election. As another example, the Daily Mail newspaper “Donald Trumped?” reached its readers with the title. On the other hand, German newspapers announced the election news with headlines such as “First take a deep breath”, “Trump’s foul play”, “The last waves of the American dream”. These mainstream European newspapers allow us to interpret Europe’s attitude to American elections. 

From the Side of China

Another side, China, America’s biggest rival in the international arena, made American elections a mockery. Chinese citizens mocked American president Trump on social media. China’s attitude towards the American election can be interpreted as handling a current and vital political event most efficiently for itself.

From the Side of Turkey

The media channels that may be considered as close to the government made the news that Trump favor. The Democrats’ attitude contradicts the Erdogan government has caused the formation of a mass pro-Trump in Turkey. This attitude, expectedly, affected the Turkish media. CNN Türk titled “Joe Biden: Do not leave the ballot boxes”. Under the headline “Chaos broke out from the ballot box” in the Yeni Safak headline, “The 59th presidential elections in the USA entered the chaotic process as expected due to the votes sent by mail after the ballot boxes were closed. With Biden leading the way, Trump declared his victory after taking critical states Florida and Texas, accusing the Democrats of “trying to steal the election.” The controversial election is expected to be concluded in court,” he said.



J. C. WONG, 2020

M. ISAAC, 2020