Essay writing: Are the media more powerful than politicians?



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ESSAY WRITING: Are the media more powerful than politicians?

  • Methodologie

TRAVAIL AU BROUILLON: MOBILISER LE LEXIQUE

  • Trois champs lexicaux seront mobilisés correspondant aux trois mots clés de la question:
    • POWERFUL
    • MEDIAS
    • POLITICIANS
    • Il faut donc se créer une banque de mots pour éviter les répétitions.
  • Have the capacity, ability to
  • Power – might – clout – strength
  • Almighty – influential – potent
  • Carry a lot of influence on
  • Be under s.o’s spell
  • Hold sway over
  • Fall under the sway of
  • Broadcast
  • Release – diffuse – spread – disclose – reveal
  • Media conglomerates – media lobbies
  • Chief editor – a columnist – the press people
  • A tycoon – a moghul
  • THE internet
  • Decision-maker – policy-makers
  • Government – administration
  • Party members
  • Leader - leadership

Convoquer des structures langagières pertinentes

  • Le sujet vous amène à utiliser des comparatifs ou superlatifs:
    • In our media age news outlets play as important a role as politicians.
    • The role of the medias has become more and more essential / increasingly crucial.
    • The most influential medias are those with a wider audience or readership.
    • The least we can say is that the political clout of big medias is overemphasized.
  • Vous pourrez également avoir besoin d’exprimer la coercition:
    • Politicians in office make journalists focus on what is most favorable to them.
    • Journalists may make readers / listeners / viewers believe into anything.
    • The president had the journalist delete the most critical / scathing part of his feature.
    • Structures résultatives:
    • Some journalists may brainwash people into electing one candidate.
    • Politicians may talk reporters into changing their accounts or threaten them out of releasing undesirable information.

Modalisation adverbiale

  • L’utilisation d’adverbes vous permet d’exprimer votre point de vue:
    • Ever since they grew in strength, medias have undoubtedly / undubitably / unquestionably / admittedly exerted much political power.
    • The collision between politicians and the medias indisputably / undeniably has a bearing / an impact upon poltical life.

Clarifier le propos par des mots de liaison.

  • As/ since / because / in so far as / in as much as / given that they shape public opinion, the medias are bound to affect political agendas.
  • The medias enjoy a bewildering / tremendous / stunning power but / nonetheless / yet / however they are not impervious to political manipulation.
  • Besides / moreover / what is more soft news and entertainment may equally shape people’s political opinions.
  • The internet has fostered new information outlets, hence the ever-increasing influence of opinion-makers.

Writing an introduction

  • Never give your answer to the question in the introduction. There are different types of introductions:
  • Topical introductions: The lastest presidential elections in Europe or on the American continent have evidenced a growing presidentialization of the function. As presidents have to be charismatic figureheads, the media play an increasing role in shaping the president’s public image. Have they become more influential than politicians?
  • Historical introductions: Several film-makers have denounced the almightiness of the medias in the 1930s at a time when newspapers where amalgamated into huge conglomerates. In the 19th century, when steam power printing presses became widespread and when the number of readers rocketed up, the medias started to gain political clout. In the age of mass media, we are therefore entitled to believe that the media are more powerful than politicians. Is it actually the case?
  • Over-reaching introduction: The question whether opinion-makers are more powerful than policy-makers is as old as the hills. The media age has turned this question into a burning / hot button issue. Media ownership has been under scrutiny for decades now as the counter-power that is at the core of democracy is in the hands of very few almighty people. The relations between the media and democracy are worth exploring.

Ebaucher un plan

  • Contrairement aux dissertations françaises, les essais ne comprennent pas obligatoirement trois parties (sous-divisées en trois sous-parties).
  • Un essai comporte autant de parties que d’arguments clés (3, 4, 5, voire 6).
  • Chaque partie sert à développer une idée maîtresse qui sera étayée par un exemple analysé. Elle est introduite par un saute de ligne et un alinéa.

Possible anwers:

  • 1 Medias fashion public opinion as they are the main transmitters of information. Surveys, polls may alter the results of an election; by choosing what is newsworthy, the medias make issues salient. The medias are agenda-setters since reforms can stem from previous mass coverage. The press structures the voters’ perception of reality.
  • 2. They may also downgrade politics (trivialization of news, scandals), tarnish the reputation of a politician. Media emphasis impacts turn-out rates. Episodic framing nonetheless curb the impact of releases upon voting behaviours.
  • 3 Yet there are limits to the agenda-setting capacities of the media. Indeed laws are prepared well in advance, political programmes cannot be altered at will.
  • 4 Politicians may hold sway over the media. Tycoons and media owners are sometimes on speaking terms with politicians. This collaboration may give birth to gentlemen’s agreements in which the interests of the two parties are satisfied. In « opinion democracies » there is an interplay of influences.
  • 5 The internet and the growing number of information websites and outlets may curtail the mightiness of press and TV. It may lead to a new empowerment of the population.

Quelques conseils

  • La plupart des erreurs sont dues au fait que vous traduisez des phrases du français. Mettre sur votre brouillon des mots utiles, des structures vous permet d’éviter ce travers.
  • Ne rédigez pas votre essai au brouillon mais jetez-y du vocabulaire et les idées principales. Si vous avez mobilisé le lexique et des structures utiles, vous pouvez rédiger directement sur la copie.
  • Relisez vous pour corriger des erreurs d’inattention: les ‘s’ de 3e personne, l’accord et la place des adjectifs, le choix du pronom relatif (who vs. Which), etc. Rapellez vous que le verbe et le complément ne doivent pas être séparés.

Exemple de mise en mots

  • Champ lexical : politician – policy-maker – leader – press tycoon – media owner
  • Structures: comparatif / résultatives
  • Adverbes: admittedly
  • Idee: politicians influence journalists
  • Ex: a president can fire a news anchorperson if the TV channel is public
  • A partir de ces éléments au brouillon vous pouvez rédiger ceci:
  • Politicians may admittedly be more powerful than media owners and the incumbent president, if publicy criticized in a news outlet, may threaten a journalist out of releasing a piece of news or fire an anchorperson if he thinks the person has been disrespectful.


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