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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

We Are the New Nation

Obama’s appeal is changing the face of American politics. This election was unlike any other in U.S. history. Not only because we are ushering in the nation’s first African-American president. In light of the election and troubling times, as we draw to a close a failed Presidency, many people were soaking up any and all information they can on how to transition our government.

There is no voice that is louder than a young person’s, as evidenced by the massive young voter turnout in this year’s election. The results say to me that we, the youth of the nation, are a diverse, democratic, and progressive group of people potentially changing the face of American politics one election at a time.

The 2008 Republican and Democratic candidates had our full attention in a series of journals, magazines, comics, and comedy sketches, using all forms of mass communication. Exposure of candidates has been more significant this year than in other election, showing that media output has revolutionized the political realm: candidates now have their own websites, we can now fact-check our chain e-mails, we can Google any article that makes print, and we can watch almost anything that has been previously televised including many of the catchy comedy sketches that came out of SNL, the Colbert Report, and Daily Show, as well as the debates, speeches, and interviews. We’ve been raised to use the Internet for communication, school and work, which is to say that the young voters have proficient skills in researching and analyzing the candidates in this election.

We are also experts at communicating to each other, which is something that Barack Obama understood and used as a great resource to benefit his campaign.

Barack Obama targeted a massive young Internet audience by creating a social networking website with the help of Face Book designer Chris Hughes. Yahoo Site Explorer shows nearly 2 million links to My.BarackObama.com and just under a million for John McCain, which shows that Obama really tried to put himself out there and make information and networking available to voters. Obama also played the role of the cool, calm leader, who in the face of attacks remained steadfast and attentive. John McCain was very passionate at times and said the wrong things, promoting fear and anti-intellectualism among many susceptible voters. The free-market mainstream media wasn’t as susceptible to such negativity as it usually is, and neither were we.

Political satire was a factor more than ever before, presenting us with a mumbling and inconsistent senior citizen and an articulate smarty-pants. No matter who you voted for, you have to at least give points to all of the TV and Internet networks that made the information available for you to research. The media deserve credit for informing us about our candidates for the Presidency, and so does Barack Obama for his revolutionary strategy to unify the country on the common ground of change and optimism, and so do we, the young voters, for informing, sharing, and thinking.

Breaking records at the polls this year, about 23 million young people came out to vote and be heard. On November 4, we got what we wanted: change.