Political communication has always been central to the electoral and policymaking process, but since the early 1990s certain important developments have fundamentally altered this process, with “mass media” moving from the traditional world of newspapers, radio, and television broadcasting to the Internet.
Before we go much further, let’s first define mass media. This term simply means communication that reaches a large audience. As mentioned above, this can include television, radio, advertising, the Internet, direct mail, billboards, newspapers, magazines, and so forth.
Mass media communication is a significant force in modern culture — particularly in America and especially when it comes to politics. The communication of political information is an important process in our democratic system, and mass media plays a central role in this activity.
So, in our campaign to pass the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2020, mass media is simply how we choose to talk with voters. This blog and the website it’s on are both examples of mass media.
But contrary to the old adage, this type of talk isn’t cheap. According to the independent research organization Ballotpedia, $313 million in political contributions were spent for or against California ballot measures in 2016 — making it the highest spending state among the top seven states. Similarly, in 2018 three of the top 10 November ballot measures featuring the most campaign contributions (for or against) were also in California, with combined donations reaching nearly $300 million.
While our campaign budget will not be reaching quite to these heights, you can see that it DOES require a great deal of money to communicate with today’s voters. One full-page newspaper ad in a daily paper can run $20,000 and one 30-second TV ad aired during a popular prime-time network show can cost $285,000. You get the gist.
As we step up our fundraising efforts for the campaign — you’ll see DONATE buttons throughout our new, improved website — please keep in mind that we’re using these funds to communicate with voters who have no idea that there even is an initiative on the ballot, or have no idea of the specific safety features it contains.
Contributions to the campaign are used for a wide variety of activities, including maintaining our website, producing campaign materials to educate the public on the initiative (video and print), social media, advertising, hosting educational and fundraising events in the community, direct mail to public officials and voters, and much more.
The more Californians we can educate about the Keep California Safe initiative, the more we are certain will vote for it in November 2020 — a necessary step for the safety of all Californians, present and future. To donate to the effort, please click here. Thank you for your support.