Blog post 5:
For assignment two my group and I are researching the topic of hard vs soft media in relation to political influence. We brainstormed the idea that political caricatures relating to creative media could be one example of a tool that could influence public opinion. I decided in order to better my understanding of the influence these have on different people I would conduct a short interview on a person from one of the youngest age groups that could have their opinion potentially swayed. Year 11 student Emma Lauren is in her final year of not having to vote, this is the interview I conducted with her.
**Start: How do you feel about having to vote next year?
It’s something everyone around you seems to push. Teachers, parents, friends all emphasise the excitement of finally having a say in politics. I feel like it’s pretty exciting, like a right of passage type moment however I’m not very politically engaged so I may need to brush up on my knowledge before actually voting.
You say you aren’t ‘very politically engaged’, do you come across political cartoons often?
My dad knows heaps about what’s going on in politics so he finds the cartoons funny. As I said I’m not too great with politics but he likes to explain them to me. I find them quite crude at times and they are particularly ‘funny’ to me.
You’ll be voting next year, how do you think they’ve effected your opinion?
More than anything I think they’ve educated me. I get to understand the big mistakes that any one politician has made because he keeps these politicians on their feet. So I think it would influence my opinion on an individual. For people my age that aren’t interested in what politicians have to say these cartoons make up for lost information. For example, we know when Tony Abbot stuffs up because he appears in the cartoon with his ears to body ratio drawn like crazy.
To wrap up this interview my final question is whether or not the cartoons will effect your decision on the day you vote?
I don’t think so, I’m not that interested in politics but I believe my parents would have more influence on my opinion on politics more than the cartoons. The cartoons help with my understanding of different political individuals but I wouldn’t ever solely rely on this information .End**
I found this interview valuable to our research as I was able to gain a knowledge about the influence of political cartoons on a young person. It’s understandable that as a year 11 student Emma isn’t overly engaged with politics which was even more of a reason that the cartoons could have an influence on swaying her opinion. However, it was interesting to me that she believes the cartoons won’t have an overall opinion on her vote, rather they educate her on what’s happening in politics. This will be useful throughout the group assignment as we will be able to understand the relationship a young person has with political cartoons. This is effective in the way we can compare this with different age groups and determine whether or not it could be inexperience with politics that influences this.
Throughout the interviewing process I learnt that in order to have a comfortable environment to interview in it was crucial to establish a good relationship with your interviewee. It was clear that having written down questions was less effective as it was easier to have dot points and keep the questions conversational. Overall, I found this interviewing process very valuable in learning how to conduct yourself in different situations. I completed this by making sure I was thinking about what media research actually involves and the ethics important to the research process.