discussions of the media's influence in primary elections. More important, arguments that the news media "select" nominees in the current system are overstated. First, journalists rely on the assessments of party leaders and other actors in the process when crafting their views. The news media can thus be thought of as a megaphone for the ideas and perceptions of others involved in the process. Second, one should keep in mind that the news media were important to the previous nominating arrangement, suggesting that journalists have been and are likely to remain important actors in the selection process.
Of course, one could argue that many of my arguments are simply looking "at the glass half full, rather than half empty." While such a claim may have merit, it is important to consider carefully the accuracy of the criticisms against the news media; otherwise one may be misled about the qualifications of voters in primaries to select candidates.
Nevertheless, these arguments do not mean that the news media's role is beneficial. When a large number of candidates compete, especially when some of the candidates are not well known to the public, the news media are important actors in the system and probably shape the preferences of many voters. Whether such influence means the news media are "too" important remains unclear. But it may be worth considering when and where the news media have influence and try to suggest changes in the system that reflect this information, as I shall attempt in the concluding chapter.