The waterfall model: Formation and circulation of ideas and opinions

At this point in the process, the media disseminate their own version of what the socioeconomic and political elites have processed and basically it is the attentive public or opinion leaders, in all social strata, who assimilate or receive said information and they in turn they transmit it, also processed, to the general population.

In all cases, the vision or sense of the political, social and economic reality of the country will be seen from a different perspective, with the understanding that the political information available varies dramatically at each level. “Each of the five levels of our waterfall model is partly autonomous, but also interdependent with the other levels. Each level is also open, to some extent, to the direct impact of external reality.[12]

Each container and in any part of the process can accept, reject or remain neutral on a topic under discussion; Likewise, it can generate new issues that must be submitted to public opinion in this complex political information system.

We must consider that in this process there is an effect of simplification of the information at the moment it passes from container, because evidently only the political information considered pertinent to be transmitted is transmitted and given that, at each level the process of debate and exchange, when crossing the limits of the container a simplification occurs again. Where what we are describing can best be observed is in the media and in face-to-face contact between citizens.

The quota of political information is variable with a tendency to simplification at each level of the cascade, so the components of each container differ in terms of the political information they handle and its complexity, which is why it is evident that eventually they should have different perspectives on a public issue; However, as the media simplify political information and as it is massive in the sense that it reaches all socioeconomic levels, similar points of view are produced in some cases, especially when they are related to general issues; When they refer to specific facts or situations, the differences are manifest, since not only information from the media and opinion leaders should be considered; we must consider personal experience and the influence of reference groups.

If we take into account, for example, the inflation situation or the state of the economy, we will find significant differences on this issue in the different social strata. Citizens, even if they lack information and knowledge about inflation, compare their personal experience with what is expressed by the media—macroeconomic description—and they will find that there is no relationship between one and the other. And personal experience serves as a contrast component, because in the case of inflation, this index does not tell the common citizen anything about their economic situation.

1.8.3 Feedback from the communication process and the generation of public opinion

Feedback therefore arises from a long process of assimilation of gradually simplified, partial and diverse information. With these characteristic elements of political information, citizens will receive at least two positions regarding the issue and based on these references they will be able to form their opinion if they are interested in the topic. At a political level, the government is required to respond to the demands raised, whether or not they are supported by public opinion so that decisions can be made; while, for the mass of citizens, feedback in the field of communication will imply support, indifference or rejection of the proposal.

5/5 - 4 votes

Discover more from Politikaperu

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Discover more from Politikaperu

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading