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media coverage of 2008 presidential election October 30, 2007

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, health, media, news, politics.
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study by the project for excellence in journalism and the joan shorenstein center on the press, politics, and public policy via paul krugman’s blog:

In all, 63% of the campaign stories focused on political and tactical aspects of the campaign. That is nearly four times the number of stories about the personal backgrounds of the candidates (17%) or the candidates’ ideas and policy proposals (15%). And just 1% of stories examined the candidates’ records or past public performance, the study found.

The press’ focus on fundraising, tactics and polling is even more evident if one looks at how stories were framed rather than the topic of the story. Just 12% of stories examined were presented in a way that explained how citizens might be affected by the election, while nearly nine-out-of-ten stories (86%) focused on matters that largely impacted only the parties and the candidates.

this should be pretty self-evident to anyone who reads or watches the msm’s coverage of elections. there’s this pretense of a public dialogue about the issues, but it’s not even reasonable to expect the average voter to understand anything, much less anything substantive, about social security or healthcare or global warming even if they pay attention to the news. can anyone tell me even the most basic of differences between clinton, obama, and edwards’ healthcare proposals? this is supposedly the number one domestic issue in this election but i never hear any kind of pundit discussion along the lines of – “well hillary’s health care plan wants to ____ while obama’s plan would ____, which stands in contrast to edwards plan which would _____.” what i hear is “hillary unveiled her healthcare proposal today. the republican frontrunners attacked her plan as more ‘socialized medicine,'” which is then followed by discussion about guliani’s attack of hillary’s plan as opposed to the plan itself.

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