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Balance in Campaign Coverage
Unformatted Document Text:  Coverage Balance 12 For each area, the following question was asked: “In the 2000 presidential campaign, where would you place the selection of and framing of campaign news coverage from the level on a seven point-scale where 1 is very favorable for Al Gore, 7 is very favorable for George W. Bush, and 4 is very balanced between two major candidates?” Taking the characteristic of an almost zero-sum game between Bush and Gore into account, the answers to the above question for the general media area were recoded, in the regression analysis, to measure respondents’ perceptions of the level of overall media favorability for Bush as follows: 1 was very unfavorable for Bush, 7 was very favorable for Bush, and 4 was very balanced. Copying Patterson’s study, journalists’ perceptions of media favorability were gauged distinctively by two major campaign topics: policy and campaign strategy (hereafter, policy), and personality and background (hereafter, personality). 39 These two topics produced the four campaign issues (i.e., two topics by two candidates) in the present study: Bush policy, Gore policy, Bush personality, and Gore personality. Respondents were asked to distinguish policy coverage from personality coverage. The former refers to a candidate’s policies, campaign logistics, victories and defeats, and organizational efforts. The latter includes a candidate’s traits, leadership and personal history. The following question was asked on each campaign issue: “In the 2000 presidential campaign, how do you evaluate news media coverage in general about the following issue on a seven point-scale where 1 is most unfavorable, 7 is most favorable, and 4 is very balanced?” The demographic variables employed were gender (male), years worked as a professional journalist, and education level. 40 Three working-condition variables were used: type of medium (newspaper), the frequency of Bush campaign coverage and the working area (Washington, D.C.). For type of medium, newspaper was used as a dummy variable. The frequency of Bush

Authors: Son, Young Jun. and Weaver, David.
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Coverage Balance 12
For each area, the following question was asked: “In the 2000 presidential campaign,
where would you place the selection of and framing of campaign news coverage from the level
on a seven point-scale where 1 is very favorable for Al Gore, 7 is very favorable for George W.
Bush, and 4 is very balanced between two major candidates?” Taking the characteristic of an
almost zero-sum game between Bush and Gore into account, the answers to the above question
for the general media area were recoded, in the regression analysis, to measure respondents’
perceptions of the level of overall media favorability for Bush as follows: 1 was very
unfavorable for Bush, 7 was very favorable for Bush, and 4 was very balanced.
Copying Patterson’s study, journalists’ perceptions of media favorability were gauged
distinctively by two major campaign topics: policy and campaign strategy (hereafter, policy), and
personality and background (hereafter, personality).
39
These two topics produced the four
campaign issues (i.e., two topics by two candidates) in the present study: Bush policy, Gore
policy, Bush personality, and Gore personality. Respondents were asked to distinguish policy
coverage from personality coverage. The former refers to a candidate’s policies, campaign
logistics, victories and defeats, and organizational efforts. The latter includes a candidate’s traits,
leadership and personal history. The following question was asked on each campaign issue: “In
the 2000 presidential campaign, how do you evaluate news media coverage in general about the
following issue on a seven point-scale where 1 is most unfavorable, 7 is most favorable, and 4 is
very balanced?”
The demographic variables employed were gender (male), years worked as a professional
journalist, and education level.
40
Three working-condition variables were used: type of medium
(newspaper), the frequency of Bush campaign coverage and the working area (Washington,
D.C.). For type of medium, newspaper was used as a dummy variable. The frequency of Bush


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