The old style media seems to influence public opinion far more than we sometimes perceive.
Gordon Brown's political party is not my favourite but the media by focusing on such matters as his cyring during a TV interview (about the death of his child) and the mispelling of parts of his handwritten letters to families of bereaved soldiers, appeared to me to be distracting attention during the run up to the forthcoming election, away from the real issues - of how to dig the nation out of its current economic plight, how to improve the lot of the poor/underprivileged, education, NHS, public transport, religious freedom, taxation and the UK's place in the C21 world and instead to be trying to redirect attention towards the highly personal.
Having then camoflauged the real issues and shone the spotlight on the man's humanity Gordon Brown's party ratings in the opinion polls began to fall. The media then seemed to me to try to switch to the Tory party and again to focus on sideshows - eg highlighting the tax domicile of a large financial donor - with which there was little real interest, until the public bcame bored into submission by the barrage of comment in the media, see the Indy for example, all of which again began to result in the Tory party's ratings begining to fall.
What next? some media nonsense about the Liberal Democrats perhaps. Yet the media wouldn't trivialise and personalise unless the public lapped it up which alas we do.
I hope that the internet which faciliates individual as well as mass communication, coupled with information gathering and disseminating, will gradually dilute the irritating tendency of the mainstream media to personalise patronise and and triviallise.