Political Talk Radio Insert Name
The mass media plays a huge role in society as it provides a continuous flow of information on all sectors of society. The society looks to the mass media to keep it up to date on the happenings in the society. The mass media includes newspapers, radio magazines, film among other things. Since the use print media, which was the first media, the influence of the media in society has grown to a large extent. The media has become not only a means of receiving information but also a means of airing views and opinions on social issues.
This has been facilitated by the development of talk shows either on television or on radio. These talk shows are mainly discussion forums hosted by the media where guest are invited to come and discuss societal issues and these are either on radio or television. Talk shows allow for the members of the society to voice their opinions on the issues up for discussion. These have become very popular as they provide members of society with an opportunity to air their views on pressing issues and also air out their grievances so that their leaders can do something.
Talk radio is a form of radio where live discussions are held on radio and these are based on topical issues. These have the setting of an interview where host, mostly an individual, who asks questions to their invited guest or guests on a particular topic. In talk radio also has the element of listener participation as listeners are provide with the opportunity to call in an either ask questions or voice an opinion making talk radio an interactive forum. Talk radio provides variety as it can either be hot talk, progressive talk, conservative talk or sports talk.
Political talk radio is a form of talk radio which involves discussion on political issues and topics. Most political talk radio shows only have a host who introduces a topic which they feel is in need of discussion, go ahead to talk about the topic in depth with the involvement of listeners who call in to agree or disagree. Unlike most other forms of mass media, political talk has a continuous interaction between the host and the caller as the host involves the caller in the discussion by inviting them to ask questions to their guests making an important part of society.
This is important as most callers do not have the time or opportunity to write letters to their representatives or to attend town hall meetings organized by their representatives due to various commitments (Dedaic & Nelson, 2003). In political talk radio there is a relationship which is formed between the caller and the host on an individual level. The caller has the role of calling in and asking questions on the topic which is up for discussion as well as airing an opinion on the same.
The host can in a way be described as fiduciary as the host is required to respond to the caller’s answer to the best of their ability. Political talk radio shows at time have guests who are invited because they can provide information on a certain issue. In this setting, the host’s role is to convey the question in a well organized and incisive form. The host has the duty to ensure that the caller gets a satisfactory answer to the caller’s question(s). The host therefore acts as a bridge between the caller and guest and his main priority is to unsure that the caller is able to get his point across.
There also exists a relationship between the listening audience and the political talk radio host this can be either passive or active. The relationship is passive when the audience does not act on what they hear in talk radio program. This therefore means that the information conveyed in the show was not of impact to the lives of the listening audience. The relationship can only become active if the listener(s) hear the message being conveyed in a talk radio show and proceeds to act on the information.
Hosts of political talk radio also influence an individual’s thought process as regards a certain political issue as they may talk about the issue from a new perspective. Political radio hosts mostly dwell on the opinion they have on a certain political issue and in their radio show interact with the listener and try to get them to concur with their opinion. They do receive some support for their views but at the same time they also receive call from listeners who voice different opinions. Interaction between host and caller in political talk radio goes along way into influencing the political beliefs of a person.
This is despite the fact that political talk radio hosts use their programs to propagate personal political views. People therefore value political talk radio as it provides them with an opportunity to voice what they feel about a particular political issue which they feel affect their lives (Hofstetter, 1997). The best thing about talk radio is that it involves genuine aural conversation as the host and the caller has a direct communication and this ensures that listeners can fell the emotion in a conversation.
The fact even emotions can be felt makes the talk show to have a greater effect on the audience or listeners. Aural conversation also helps listeners to gain a better understanding of the issue as well the views and opinions which are being voiced by callers as if a caller is not clear on a point the host can seek clarification. This stands out from other shows which have embraced new technological changes like instant messaging which does not convey the emotion attached to a particular issue (Stolley, 2005).
The functionalist perspective views society as one big machine in which all parts work together despite doing different thing in the machine. In society each entity performs a different function though each separate function contributes to the development of the society as a whole. Political talk radio provides the individual with a personal experience of political issues as well as other societal issues. This empowerment is a product of interaction with radio talk hosts on societal issues and this creates awareness of the societal issues.
The personal experience empowers the individual and since society is made up of groups of individuals, the empowerment of individuals culminates in the overall empowerment of the society. Audiences of political talk radio influence societal institutions as they acquire information which enables them to become more integrated into societal issues. Audiences of political talk radio shows are therefore well informed of the political issues and they can therefore influence the political institution as the aware of the changes needed.
These people can also influence and affect political institution when it comes to electing leaders of political institutions as they are able to choose which leader can be able to deliver the political institution they feel would suit them. Some members of political institutions are also part of the audience of political talk radio shows and they can therefore adopt the views they hear into their specific political institutions. A good example of the influence political talk radio audience can have on the political institution can be seen from a look at the audience of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Most of those who listen to Limbaugh’s show are in basic agreement with his views. He was accredited with being responsible for Republican Party’s Congressional victories in 1994 and this is because of the influence his listeners had on the voting process. It has been noted most of those who listen to the Rush Limbaugh show are listening because they already agree with his views. Despite most being voters, they is a high likelihood that they were voters before they became his listening audience.
Most of those who listen to the show, listen because they have a political interest in the show and are also likely to be active in politics. Rush Limbaugh’s show is used to promote republican views in the American society. Rush Limbaugh’s listeners are high consumers of major forms of political talk radio (Limbaugh, 2008). Just like in Limbaugh’s talk show, political talk radio shows deal with a variety of issues which have a political inclination. Political talk shows reach out to the society one individual at a time.
They focus on reaching the individual which creates the platform of the message progressing through the society. In a study carried out in San Diego, California, it was found that political talk radio audience tend to be higher in social economic status, were more integrated in society socially and politically. They were also found to be more attentive to political issues in the society. The study was conducted from the Grunig situational involvement model perspective (Hofstetter, 1997).
Apart from providing individual with a personal experience the forum provided y political talk radio can resemble that of a civic forum. Individual opinion aired on talk radio can influence the society in same manner similar to that communicated at a civic forum. This is because just like at a civic forum, talk radio also provides a forum for interaction of people and individual can call out to their leaders on this forum. Individuals can therefore use talk radio to call on other members of society to call upon their leaders to take action on a pertinent societal issue (Leon-Guerrero, 2005).
Political talk radio also provides an equal forum for all people regardless of their social class to air their views on political issues which affect them. The communication system used in political talk radio provides for anonymity as the identity of the callers is withheld from the public. Talk radio is also anonymous because of the fact that in case of a listener calling in, the only information they are required to give is their name and where they are calling from al of which is optional.
The anonymous talk radio communication system enables callers and listeners to cross levels of social stratification providing. The communication system gives people from all social classes an opportunity to voice their opinion on political issues with out the risk of being victimized for belonging to a particular social class. This ensures that callers from middle and lower classes have an equal chance to voice their views and opinion on different topics. The anonymous nature of communication also means that listeners from all social classes can tune in and get informed on political issues.
Political talk radio is able to circumvent social lines as host talk about issues which affect the society as a whole rather than the problems of a political social class. This is therefore good as the shows act as a voice for equality by dwelling on societal rather than class issues. The ability to circumvent social lines is also important as it ensure that the whole society is aware of how certain issues affect different classes. This is because people of all classes have the opportunity to give their opinions on issues.
Political talk radio therefore plays a bigger role in unifying the society and the result of which is the development of the society. Conclusion The mass media play an important role in society as it has an influence on all institutions of society. The mass media provides information on the happenings in society and therefore influencing and affecting the perceptions of people. Political talk radio has also become a means of breaking social stratification levels in society. It has therefore provided an equal platform for people from all social classes to express their views and opinions.
Political talk radio has turned out to be a means of achieving societal change through it empowerment of people which in turn empowers the society. This is because the create awareness of social issues which affect the society. Reference Dedaic, M. N & Nelson, D. N. (2003) At War with Words. ISBN 978-3-11-017649-0: Walter de Gruyter. Leon-Guerrero, A. (2005). Social Problems: Community, Policy and Social Action. ISBN: 9780761987826: Pines forge press. ? Limbaugh, R. (2008). The Rush Limbaugh Show. Retrieved fromSample Essay of Custom-Writing