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Balance in Campaign Coverage
Unformatted Document Text:  Coverage Balance 10 Method Two types of data were gathered for this research. First, a mail survey was conducted of political journalists. Second, in-depth interviews were done with six prominent Washington correspondents. A political journalist was conceptually defined as an individual reporter, within a news organization, who participated in the news coverage of the 2000 Bush-Gore presidential campaign. 33 The population was restricted to the reporters in the top 30 circulation newspapers listed in Editor & Publisher Yearbook 34 and in the five national television networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX-TV and CNN) and their local affiliates in five markets (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Indianapolis). Reporters were operationally identified among the presidential campaign news writers from three randomly selected weeks: June 5-11, September 4-10 and October 23-29, 2000. A news story was recognized as relevant if it contained all of these words: “Bush or Gore” and “campaign.” Stories were drawn from the LEXIS-NEXIS database. Once all the stories were retrieved, three steps were taken. First, only daily campaign news stories were chosen. Those not directly linked to the daily news production were eliminated. Editorials, columns and readers’ opinions were excluded. Second, the names of political journalists were obtained from bylines of newspaper stories or TV transcripts. When more than two reporters were involved in a news story, they were all included. Participation in textual coverage was the sole criterion for inclusion. Only reporters were included; TV news anchors, camera crews and newspaper columnists were excluded. Third, after collecting all the reporters’ names from the selected weeks, a systematic random sampling of every third person was chosen. When a reporter appeared more than twice, her or his name was counted only once. This process yielded a total of

Authors: Son, Young Jun. and Weaver, David.
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Coverage Balance 10
Method
Two types of data were gathered for this research. First, a mail survey was conducted of
political journalists. Second, in-depth interviews were done with six prominent Washington
correspondents. A political journalist was conceptually defined as an individual reporter, within a
news organization, who participated in the news coverage of the
2000 Bush-Gore presidential campaign.
33
The population was restricted to the reporters in the top 30 circulation newspapers listed
in Editor & Publisher Yearbook
34
and in the five national television networks (NBC, ABC,
CBS, FOX-TV and CNN) and their local affiliates in five markets (New York, Los Angeles,
Chicago, Houston and Indianapolis). Reporters were operationally identified among the
presidential campaign news writers from three randomly selected weeks: June 5-11, September
4-10 and October 23-29, 2000. A news story was recognized as relevant if it contained all of
these words: “Bush or Gore” and “campaign.”
Stories were drawn from the LEXIS-NEXIS database. Once all the stories were retrieved,
three steps were taken. First, only daily campaign news stories were chosen. Those not directly
linked to the daily news production were eliminated. Editorials, columns and readers’ opinions
were excluded. Second, the names of political journalists were obtained from bylines of
newspaper stories or TV transcripts. When more than two reporters were involved in a news
story, they were all included. Participation in textual coverage was the sole criterion for
inclusion. Only reporters were included;
TV news anchors, camera crews and newspaper
columnists were excluded. Third, after collecting all the reporters’ names from the selected
weeks, a systematic random sampling of every third person was chosen. When a reporter
appeared more than twice, her or his name was counted only once. This process yielded a total of


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