Date Soft News Goes to War

Posted on: 10th May 2023


GOV 2305

Review paper – Media


For this assignment, please, read an excerpt “Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age” by M. Baum. You can find a PDF of this short reading in the same folder below the prompt.

In your essay, please, explain: 1) What does M. Baum mean by “soft news”? 2) What are some examples of soft news coverage given in the reading? 3) What roles does soft news play in shaping public awareness and political interest, according to M. Baum? Finally, please, reflect on this last question: 4) How would you describe the role that “soft news” plays in a democracy? Do you think “soft news” is helpful for keeping the public informed and engaged, or not? 

Format: 12 Font, Times New Roman, double space, 1 inch margins, page numbers, 2 full pages of text. 

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Soft News Goes to War

According to Baum, soft news is simply mass media programming that primarily intends to entertain people rather providing news. Apart from being an entertainment news channel, it also gives political information and international events. It is clear that soft news, as opposed to traditional news programming plays a vital role in today's media because it makes people who are not interested in political news get exposed to information of major issues of the day. Lack of political interest among people has made individuals remain selective regarding information that warrants their attention (Kollman, 529). For example, in the reading, it is clear that soft news covers things such as celebrity sex scandals, fashion shows and murder trials. But the minimal effort by soft news makes its viewers remain uninformed about current political issues facing the nation, such as foreign policy. From the information in the reading, soft news's primary mission is to ensure its audience is provided with information about movies and celebrities. Therefore, in the current era where people are not interested in politics and are impatient in reading, many viewers have embraced soft news.

From the reading, soft news has fundamentally repackaged traditional news into entertainment-oriented news programs and talk shows. By transforming political issues into entertainment, soft news media has captured more viewers who follow news about foreign crises because of its entertainment value. Also, soft news has played a vital role in shaping public awareness by successfully employing cheap framing strategies to capture the highest number of television audiences (Kollman, 531). It has ensured that political issues have been transformed to keep the public informed about foreign affairs in particular. The argument in the reading has indicated that once someone is exposed to an that they most prefer its programming format, their cost-benefit for paying attention is high, making them informed.

Based on the argument in the reading, I can say that soft news has played a significant role in democracy. From Baum's view in the reading, exposure to soft news clearly affects consumer attitudes. The transformation of political issues into entertainment has had a greater appeal to people who are generally not politically involved. In addition, soft news has helped provide important political information to the people by playing a watchdog role, such as exposing political stupidity and scandals (Kollman, 532). The growing interest of people in the soft news has made them follow more political issues, indicating that it increased democracy among the media. For instance, to have a good functioning democracy, people need to have a clear grasp of the daily working of their government. Due to this important factor, soft news made sure that people were well informed, even those not interested in political issues, by transforming it into entertainment.

Yes, it is true soft news is keeping the public informed and engaged. Through the use of soft news, people have been able to follow news and stay informed about their government policies. More importantly, it has made many Americans who ignored politics now attend political events, thus becoming politically engaged about things that affect government and the country. Given today's extraordinary complexity of politics and public opinions, the soft news ensures that it makes people informed on what is on political seen by transforming it into entertainment. Therefore, it is true that soft news plays a vital factor in the current environment because it informs people about political issues in their country.

Work Cited

Kollman, Ken. "American Politics." Analysis perspective 3 (2022): 529-532. Print.


Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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