If information is the primary tool to influence public opinion, the media are the mechanism to transmit that information.
Information → Media → Public Opinion
The media present opportunities and obstacles for issue advocates, who must capture and hold the media's notoriously short attention span to communicate a message in a way that resonates with prevailing public values, and ultimately to change public opinion.
The dictionary defines a medium as a substance through which something is transmitted. In a busy and complex society, individuals lack the time and resources to identify and explore most issues for themselves. Nor can interest groups and issue advocates communicate personally and directly with every citizen, particularly on state or national issues. While people still meet and talk about issues in small and large communities, and neighborhood activists still go door to door seeking support for their issues, issue advocacy is wholesale, not retail, politics. Advocates must rely on the media to disseminate their message.
For better or for worse, the media, particularly the mass media -- newspapers, newsmagazines, television, and radio -- provide most of