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Public Opinion Essay

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❶Many major facts relating to public opinion came to the surface through this method.

Media and Public Opinion

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Thus, in the third stage, both rational and irrational considerations enter into the opinion formation in democratic societies. In the fourth and final stage of opinion formation from all the speeches, slogans, conversations and discussions, the majority of the members reach at a final decision regarding a particular issue. Thus, a conclusion is derived from a comparative analysis of opinions so expressed.

This becomes the public opinion. For instance, after lots of deliberations they finally reached at the decision that prohibition is essential for the upliftment of tribal people and active efforts are to be made to make prohibition effective. This may not be the opinion of all, but if it is the opinion of the majority or most people, it becomes the public opinion as democracy chiefly operates by majority votes.

In public opinion, there is difference of opinion, there is controversy but finally the view of the majority emerges as public opinion. The quality and effectiveness of a public opinion depends upon how effectively the public has been involved in the discussion. The various mass and electronic medias, group discussions and public meetings also necessarily determine the quality of public opinion.

Public opinion is formed through a dynamic and gradual process. It is not formed overnight or instantly. Factors like basic needs, prejudices, motivations, propaganda through various means and role of the leader influence public opinion. They are discussed here briefly: Deep rooted basic needs determine to a great extent public opinion. Particularly when it is found that public opinions are not entirely based on rational facts, the role of emotional and sentimental needs play an upper hand.

That is why, for formation of a new public opinion references are made to fundamentalism, communalism, national integration, stability, traditional and religious values, conscience and morality, honesty, truthfulness etc. In a society where women are tortured and misbehaved, public opinion may be formed against the persons who are involved in this. In the formation of public opinion socio-cultural conditioning plays a role when people without finding any reason, accept a particular opinion or issue because of the social norms and values.

Early socialisation process which plays a role in the formation of attitude, stereotype, beliefs and prejudices always determine public opinion. Certain basic issues and opinions of a particular society are more often than not based on values and traditions of the society passed through cultural conditioning. The public opinion towards females, towards scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other disadvantaged people in the society arc determined by socio-cultural conditioning.

The role of prejudice in the determination of public opinion is also equally important. The role of a leader is crucial in determining public opinion and giving it definition and final shape just as it happens in a group or a crowd. The leader of the group is the centre around which the different ends of the discussion crystallize to a single unified point.

The leader not only gives direction and stability to the public opinion it also helps in eliminating the opposite forces who stand on the way of formation of a particular public opinion. The leader makes an assessment on the general mood of people, before mobilizing public opinion in a particular direction.

The leader may not be able to create a situation for public opinion, but he can take advantage of the existing situation and manipulate it to his advantage or to the advantage of people.

When the person is in need of something and desires to fulfil such needs there is an inner desire or drive to form some public opinion.

The fulfil the motive, people become more active and goal oriented and this force of reaching the goal which has been frustrated helps in determining public opinion. Abolition of zamindari system in many states of India, is a glaring example of how motive helps in the formation of public opinion. In India the lands were centralized with the zamindars and they were the sole authorities. The poor landless persons only worked in their fields and got very nominal wages.

Thus, a public opinion to abolish zamindari system started in the form of a revolution. The public opinion would not have been so strong and effective if all the people in the villages had sufficient lands in their occupation. It is, therefore, needless to say that in the formation of public opinion strong motives are involved. If someone is not concerned for a particular problem or issue, he will not usually bother if it goes to hail. Behind any public opinion, the operation of strong human motives are always found.

The chance of a particular problem becoming a public opinion lays on the existing demands, needs and instructions of people. In the formation of public opinion, education and imitation have their respective roles to play. Because of difference in educational qualification of the rural and urban people, there is a great deal of difference in the public opinion of rural and urban people. We can have glaring examples of this during the time of election either Grampanchayat or Assembly or Parliament.

Sometimes a clear line of demarcation is seen in the public opinion of rural and urban people because of the influence of education.

Some say that usually the public opinion of the rural people is dogmatic and systematized and it is more progressive in the urban area. Education makes one rational and explorative. As urban people are, by and large, more educated than the rural people, they do not easily form a public opinion unless convinced themselves.

For developing awareness and public opinion, in favour of various welfare works undertaken by the Govt. No welfare programme can be successful unless it is accepted by people and for this acceptance formation of publication is imperative.

In each and every state, therefore, there are Information and Public Relations Departments who mobilize public opinion in addition to other works. Religion and caste in India and Black and White feeling in South Africa are some of the examples of how religion and caste feeling play significant role in the determination of public opinion towards various issues. Though India is often talked as a secular democratic republic because of the constitutional provisions in practice, caste influences our social life and religious considerations systematically influence our public opinion.

Of course, due to increase in educational status of people and impact of civilisation and other nations, this feeling is gradually disintegrating. But these age long feelings are still deep rooted and can be uprooted through intercaste and interreligion marriages, and education.

Newspapers and Magazines are the most popular medium used for the formation of public opinion. Since it is not possible on the part of people of different parts of a state, country or nation to come in direct contact with each other, newspapers play a very strong role in the formation of public opinion. Many people only by knowing various issues from the newspapers and how others are supporting them develop public opinion. The band wagon effect is well carried through newspapers.

Views of Government and various leaders are transmitted to the mass through the newspapers which are well known as mass media. This is called yellow journalism. Such newspapers should be kept under close watch. But newspapers, nevertheless, give proper guidance to the public in formation of public opinion. Radio is more effective than newspapers in influencing public opinion. Both Radio and TV function under Govt, control.

So people usually consider it as reliable and valid. Electronic medias, therefore, not only help in the formation of a large percentage of public opinion they also play effective role in changing public opinion. Many surveys are being conducted on public opinion sponsored by Radio and TV authorities to measure public opinion relating to various issues. Several scientific studies of propaganda have also been made through Radio and TV to study its effect on public.

Very recently just before Parliamentary Election in India opinion polls on various political parties getting votes were made. It was found that this had also tremendous impact on public opinion. The radio and TV are Govt, medias and are, therefore, considered as reliable and valid. Many systematic and scientific studies of propaganda have been made through the Radio and TV on consumer goods and general election, popularity of a leader, scope of winning of a party etc.

Recently during the 11th Lok Sabha Election many private oganisations and newspaper authorities made surveys and exist polls as to which party will get how many members in which state etc. TV is more effective than Radio in forming public opinion as it is an audiovisual aid, while radio has only auditory stimulation, TV has the extra advantage of visual stimulation.

When people see things in their own eyes through several characters, they believe and strengthen the already existing public opinion or change the old ones. Just like the small screen i. TV, motion pictures reflect ideas, attitudes and values of people which help in the formation and change of public opinion.

This was due to Democratic leaders like Max Baucus, John Breaux, Blanche Lincoln, and Robert Torricelli who voted in favor of the tax cuts which was guided by the wishes of their constituents.

Policies made dealing with Afghanistan cannot be compared to typical policies made by our government officials. These polices are a result of terrorist attacks on America. Because of the nature of the attacks, most everyone agrees on the same policies, which are in the best interests of our country. The ability of President Bush to set specific goals and a unifying cause, has been a major affect in gathering the support of both the people and the media.

If public opinion should start to change, President Bush would probably reconsider his policies involving Afghanistan, as would any public official when trying to appeal to their constituents. This is because of educational access, the media and its political presentation, the overpowering partisanship in the country and the fact that many people think that their single opinion cannot really change anything.

In fact, if all the people who choose not to vote cast their ballots next term, there would begin to be a big change in things. There are other issues involving public opinion and where it is falling short in our democracy. These include some other informational short-cuts people use to make their opinions. The first solution in getting the public more knowledge about voting would be to cut back the political spending on advertising and distribute it to educating people on the government.

Media advertising is one of the biggest reasons voters are misinformed. With enough money, a candidate can say whatever they please. The more money a politician has backing them, the more the media gets too. Instead of talking about what one politician does well or what another one may have done wrong, debates could be held so that each politician is In seven pages this paper discusses democracy and the growing importance of public opinion's role. Eight sources are cited in the In eight pages issues including opinion polls and the media are considered in a discussion of how public opinion affects public of


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In a democratic country public opinion is of the highest importance. Democracy has been defined as the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Hence the views of the people on various issues play a crucial role in determining the nature of government. Related Articles: Essay On Newspapers: Their Advantages and [ ].

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Essay # 1. Meaning of Public Opinion: In simple terms public opinion means opinions held by the people at a certain time on a certain issue. In a narrow sense it may mean a noncontiguous and transitory mass of individuals with a common or general interest. Public opinion is the opinion which the people in general hold on questions of public interest of a certain time. Democracy, being the Government of the people, by the people and for the people.

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Public opinion is a collective attitude or preference concerning political issues shaped by a varied and complex interplay of factors. Group membership, personal experience, gender, race, education, class, media, government officials, elites, religion, geographical region, culture, and political ideology all affect socialization and knowledge acquisition that influence and are influenced by. Free essay on Public Opinion and Democracy available totally free at sportwallpaper.tk, the largest free essay community.