Posts Tagged ‘Wag the Dog’
So, I have decided to start a new bit on my blog where each week I define a prominent, yet not so understood term relating either to film, advertising, or communications.
The first term for the week is Horse Race Journalism
This is a term which refers to the political process covered by the media. It means the media (television in particular) focus more on the polls and results and the images of candidates rather than policies at hand. They focus more on whose winning, losing and opinions than these policies.
In Film and television, horse-race journalism is used in context with “television’s predispositions to drama and visual imagery.” TV is being increasingly used in covering political campaigns and presidential elections and it influences on the audience and voters’ (agenda setting).
Linda Lee Kaid’s “Television as Political Process” talks about the use of the particular media to cover political campaigns and explains how – as mentioned above – the visual imagery and drama takes away the importance of focussing on policy issues and instead focuses on candidates’ images. Other focuses in the article about various negative aspects of political coverage on TV.
Examples of horserace journalism include the opening sequence of Fahrenheit 9/11 where there is footage of who is higher on the polls between George Bush and Al Gore.
Another example of horserace journalism may be Wag the Dog, where the president’s image is important for re-election and certain scandals need to be suppressed.