ABSTRACT

Politics is above all a contest. It is a contest between Republicans and Democrats, between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice activists, between the United States and Iran, between candidates running for mayor, between conservatives and progressives, between oppressed people and their oppressors, and between a large variety of other actors all trying to defeat their rivals. Th e news media are an extremely important part of almost every political contest; they provide an audience of thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of people. Th e nature of what we call the “media” may have changed considerably after the creation of the Internet, but the need to be heard remains a central part of the political game. All political actors want to have their messages sent to as large an audience as possible in order to mobilize supporters to their cause. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that if you don’t exist in the media, you don’t exist politically.