BY VICTORIA LEWIS
Election Day is here and people are flooding the polls to make sure they are counted in this year’s election. Amidst all the energy and action surrounding the election, we might not notice just how the news has changed our point of view in making a choice on who would be a good president for our country.
The media has transformed from hitting the crucial components, like what they’re going to do for our country, to traits with in the candidates’ personalities and their appearance.
“It’s unnecessary information, Clinton’s emails and Trump’s hand size, we need to be focused on the tragedies in the world. The shootings in our country. Focus on how they’re going to fix them.” said Jamie Baronie, a sophomore at the University of Maine.
Baronie said she wishes that the news media would find a balance between what is important than what is not.
Many people do believe that the election is important, but the media has taken away the importance of it and turned it into entertainment. Baronie said that she watched the first debate and afterwards decided not to watch them anymore; because the news ruined her perspective.
The media has been covering how likeable (popular) one candidate is rather than how they will help better our country.
A psychology professor at the University of Maine, Rebecca MacAuly said that the media is covering what has “sexier titles.” It removes focus on what the actual issue is and only publishes things that will make headlines. She said that there has been a lot of sensationalism about the issues rather than what they actually mean for the country, which makes it difficult to focus on what’s really happening.
The major issues tend to get buried by the drama that surrounds the candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Then there is the question about where the other candidates are. Do they still exist? Are they still in the running?
This year’s election has taken over the media and the fact that mostly only Clinton and Trump have been broadcasted, and not the other candidates, has people very upset. Lindsay Knox, a sophomore student here at the University of Maine referred to the election as a “dumpster fire of an election.” She believes there’s not enough information out there about other candidates, just the “all the garbage” about Trump and Clinton. “The lack of media coverage on Bernie Sanders,” is all administrative specialist Merlin Littlefield had to say about the news covering just Clinton and Trump.
Knox said that her sister, who works for a mass advertising company, said that Trump hasn’t bought advertisements because the news endorses him without knowing who he is and what he is planning to do to our country.
An administrative specialist at the University of Maine, Mandi Gearhart, said that when one piece of random information comes out that may not be true, but a story is written about it, can cause people to become misinformed, due to media error or bias. Gearhart said that she sticks with independent reporting, because she feels that is where the truth is. She decided to use independent reporting for the Dakota Pipeline to keep informed because she didn’t know if the local news was going to tell her the real hard facts. The truth has been buried so far, under so many lies, that you don’t know what to believe.
However, a professor in the Communications and Journalism department at the University of Maine, Michael Socolow, believes that the media has done a good job, better than the political parties at covering the election and the candidates. He said that voters were able to attain a lot of information about the candidates, like Trump’s tax returns as an example. Socolow said that the problem is not the amount of information, the problem is amount of interest.
Additionally, Holly Schreiber, another professor in the Communications and Journalism department at Umaine feels that the social media has something to do with the kind of information that is being put out there. Schreiber said that people are choosing information based on their social circles that have already established before the elections and debates started. In general people are getting their news from their facebook and other social media programs they may have.
The news coverage on the election and the candidates did not help inform the people on who would be the best candidate for America. A student athlete Zhi hlan Jiang said that he would not vote today on Election Day because he does not have enough time or knowledge to do so effectively.
The news media covered the election and the candidates a lot this year. Unfortunately, most information that has been covered by the news was not important information that the people needed to be prepared and ready for on Election Day to vote for the future president of America.
We can only hope that citizens further educated themselves other than just watching and keeping up with the news. The news tries to publish the truth and the actual facts; however, when it comes to the Election of 2016 citizens believe that there has been way too much coverage of the election and the candidates that does not matter. Information that is not as important to us as citizens of America. Information that does not show us how these candidates will help run America efficiently.
Luis Lopez contributed to this story.