Political views are often shaped by external circumstances such as environment, education, or income level. In other words, belonging to a particular social group can influence political views. It is not surprising that the media have their partisan preferences, as do individuals. This paper aims to reflect on two political typology quizzes and discuss how media of various leaning set agenda, use media framing and priming to convince their audiences.
The Advocates for Self-Government quiz consisted of questions regarding personal, ethical, and economic issues. I was identified as a Progressive political character type since I gained 60 points on the personal issues score and 10 points on the economic one. I suppose this result is accurate since I lean towards progressivist ideas. However, I evaluated my type as Moderate, which turned out to be false. I believe, to be identified as a Moderate political character type, I should have answered more strictly regarding the state and economic issues, for example, whether all health care and retirement plans should be private. Furthermore, if I were a Moderate type, I would probably be more restrained about personal issues.
The Political Typology Quiz identified me as an Opportunity Democrat, while I evaluated my view as more Democratic. The quiz said that I belong to 12% of the public, which shares similar ideas, which evoked pride in me. This inventory consisted of 17 questions regarding critical public issues like gender and race equality, taxation, and governmental regulation of business. In general, both quizzes expanded my perspective regarding socially valuable topics. I enjoyed answering the questions because I spent quite a lot of time thinking about these matters while reading the news or preparing for class.
Media Portraying Protests
PollingReport.com, as a non-partisan website, presented information regarding the BLM protests in a balanced way. The website chose the most objective way to distribute data, namely in surveys that provided national statistics. The website used proper media framing, putting some educational remarks about the reasons for protests and police violence affecting black people. Moreover, the media portal used respectful language and called the thing by their names. For example, it was directly mentioned here that four police officers choked to death George Floyd, which became one reason for mass protests.
The website presented one demonstrative priming technique of putting two similar questions about the sufficiency or insufficiency of the police force towards “protesters in cities across the country” and “peaceful protesters.” Interestingly, the first question had the following response: too much force – 15%, not enough – 45%, about right 38%, and the second scored too much force 44%, not enough – 4%, and about right – 50% (Washington Post-Schar School Poll, 2020). Therefore, the information presented on the portal was practical and free of bias.
Another website that presented the issue of protests was the Truth Out portal. There was no news directly featuring the BLM movement since public interest has recently switched to election-related subjects. However, this likely progressive website published two articles that considered the topic indirectly. One article discovered possible reasons for the broad Trump support among white women and made suggestions that a large share of this population may be white supremacists. The article recalled some historical events of the mid-1950s, involving a white woman perjuring a young black man leading to his lynching.
Another article featured the photo of devoted BLM movement participants above the text, analyzing the first moves of Joe Biden as a Democratic leader. The publication included some priming techniques, repeating phrases like “fascist Trump policy,” “empty neoliberal rhetoric,” “white supremacist,” and “mythical American dream” (Trump ousted, 2020). In general, the web-portal has radical anti-republican and slightly extreme anti-liberal media framing. Besides, the agenda-setting is mostly analytical, as the authors tend to analyze the current and past events and draw more or less balanced conclusions.
Then, Huffington Post leans towards the center since it treats left- and right-wing politicians relatively equally. The agenda-setting is also centrist since the latest news is somewhat homogenous and consists of the following topics: experts’ opinions on elections, coronavirus updated statistics, entertainment. Then, The National Review shows itself as radically Republican, opening the home page with the editorial named “Biden’s Foolish Immigration Priorities.” Other headlines are “For Biden, an Endless Assist from a Fawning Press” and “‘America First’ Nationalism Isn’t Leaving the White House” with Biden’s photo above the message. The website used priming language, using phrases like “Trump administration” and “migrants from Central America” (Biden’s foolish immigration priorities, 2020). Besides, its agenda-setting ruled out any news about rallies or protests, like the Huffington Post’s agenda. Finally, The Monkey Cage is an outdated web-portal of dubious origin with vague racist rhetoric.
Thus, two political typology quizzes were discussed, and several news websites were analyzed in terms of political attitudes, media framing, and agenda-setting. The quizzes proved helpful in presenting the most important public issues and existing approaches across the nation. The studied websites showed various opinions, from radical Progressive to radical Republican and even racist. The websites used priming, media framing, and agenda-setting to present their most valued views and ideas.
Biden’s foolish immigration priorities (2020). National Review.
Giroux, H. (2020). Trump was ousted. The spirit of insurgent democracy is rising. Truth Out.
Washington Post-Schar School Poll (2020). Polling Report.