21 May 2019
Role of Interest Groups and the Media in Abortion
The modern information age is all about media and its potential. It is age of information and knowledge and one who controls the information, controls the world. This is the case with media which has assumed a dominant role in this twenty-first century. It is the prime force that shapes and influences the public opinion these days. However, the involvement of pressure groups in media makes its complex phenomenon where public opinions are shaped and influenced via several techniques. This is manifest in every society where powerful groups exert their influence and try to tilt the balance of policy-making in their favor. As for now, the role of interest groups and media in abortion has remained partisan. It is polarizing, misleading and aiming to benefit those with vested interests.
Media is the new influencer in this modern globalized world. It is the force that is well capable of toppling governments anywhere in the world, changing electoral results, making policy decisions and even directing public opinions. The role of media cannot be denied when the twenty-first century is all about the information and its widespread application in every domain of life. Such role of media has already changed the old beliefs and traditions and still continues to do so. It would not be wrong that media is now considered the fourth pillar of the state due to its immense significance and outreach in every walk of life. Media has much power in this world of narratives and counter-narratives and here comes the critical side of money and interest groups involved in it. Abortion is the issue where media sometimes speaks in the favor of abortionists and other times it becomes anti-abortionist. Nevertheless, several books and articles suggest that media shapes the public opinion through its various methods. This is usually done when the interest groups are involved in a certain issue and use their authority in media. As a result, media becomes divided in its viewpoint and becomes a tool in the hands of the dominant class of the society.
Interest groups are undeniable in this world of class and conflict. As envisioned by conflict theorist Karl Marx, every society has a dominant elite class working to achieve its own aims and objectives. he called them Bourgeoisie- the rich class- that time. However, this title underwent several transformations in the modern advanced world which has its own misnomers for everything. Likewise, this is case with the new dominant elite in the modern globalized world. Now it is a class of interest groups that are actively working in the affairs of the state. These people with vested interests do not come in limelight and they prefer to stay in the background, but their presence is real and obvious. These interest groups are actively involved in all fields of life and same is the case with the media. As it is illustrated in (Wlezien, and Goggin,1993) that media is the top influencer when there is a need to change the opinion regarding any matter. It highlighted every institution tries to be more active in the political processes and demonstrate its political viewpoint. So the role of media in abortion is not something new and it has always taken part in every policy decision. Sometimes it acts negatively and other times, it acts positively in creating an informed public opinion.
Interest groups and their importance is well-established in American politics and this is illustrated in various studies such as CITATION Edw10 \l 2057 (Edward G. Carmines, 2010). This study dwells on the concept of polarization in the society in the wake of abortion issues. Though diverse opinions on abortion have always existed such as on the famous Roe Vs Wade case. But the role of interest groups has increased in any policy issue due to its involvement in the media industry. The dominant people get top positions and then direct the attention of the masses towards anything they want in particular. Nevertheless, there is always a tussle between pro-life and pro-choice groups. When media raised awareness of the issue, the people associated themselves with either of the group as witnessed in the era of 1970s.
This trend in journalism is also highlighted in CITATION Jul00 \l 2057 (Andsager, 2000) when it revealed that interest groups do play a proactive role in shaping public-policy decision. This highlights the debate between pro-life and pro-choice groups even in 1990s. each group had their own media cell and partners projecting their viewpoint to the masses in general. Their media partners use carefully chosen words to influence and shape the public opinion in their own favor. This battle of influencing public opinion went on for a long time and the it emphasized the importance of money in the struggle of power and politics.
The role of media in abortion is undisputed. It is well-established that it plays a significant role in triggering debates over an issue. biased side of the media is also not unknown to the world as discussed in CITATION NAY10 \l 2057 (NAYDA TERKILDSEN, 2010). This study reveals the partisan side of media in national issues such as abortion. It elaborates on the point that there is well-identifiable connection between the specific pressure groups and political parties. This connection has made the abortion issue a national debate which is triggered every now and then. Even people when get influenced by their narrative, they align themselves with one of the groups. This role of media and the interest groups had made abortion a national issue and even a divisive issue as well.
Importance of money cannot be denied in this capitalistic world and perhaps it is the reason that interest groups are ruling the day. They are in control whether it’s about their objectives or any other policy decision. The media has pivotal importance and this equally applies on the dominant interest groups involved in it as reflected in the CITATION Ann18 \l 2057 (Whitesell, 2018). This literature shows that interest groups have become even more important in this new digital world where information is the new power. That is why people easily project their views on social media or any other form of media. So media is acting like a tool in the hands of the elite or those who have the power to control it.
To summarize, it is well recognized and well-established that the role of interest groups and the media in abortion is very significant. It is beyond a shadow of doubt that these interest groups work behind closed doors to pursue their own policy objectives. It is very clear when one looks into the American politics where the bi-party system has its own set of policies and objectives. this policy of shaping narratives is done by both parties whether its pro-life or pro-choice group. Several articles and journals have reserved and stressed this point of intervention in the domain of media. So, this proves beneficial to the interest groups but the masses, in general, suffer when their legitimated demands get unheard.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Andsager, J. L. (2000). How Interest Groups Attempt to Shape Public Opinion with Competing News Frames. Sage Journals.
Edward G. Carmines, J. C. (2010). How Abortion Became a Partisan Issue: Media Coverage of the Interest Group‐Political Party Connection. Politics & Policy .
Goggin, C. B. (1993). The Courts, Interest Groups, and Public Opinion about Abortion. Political Behavior.
NAYDA TERKILDSEN, F. I. (2010). Interest Groups, the Media, and Policy Debate Formation: An Analysis of Message Structure, Rhetoric, and Source Cues. Political Communication.
Whitesell, A. (2018). Interest groups and social media in the age of the Twitter president. Politics, Groups, and Identities.
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