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Balance in Campaign Coverage
Unformatted Document Text:  Coverage Balance 14 and the participants were called at a later time. When participants wanted, they were contacted by e-mail, which helped this study to achieve a more accurate and extensive understanding of reporters’ perceptions. Six Washington-based newspaper reporters were finally identified as participants for the interviews. Of these six reporters, two were recognized as non-respondents in the mail survey. The interviews were conducted during June 2000, two months after the mail survey. The reporters were asked to give their opinions of the campaign 2000 coverage and, more specifically, which campaign situations were considered mainly for their policy and personality coverage. 43 Findings Demographics and Working Conditions. Survey respondents were 68.1 % male and 31.9 % female. The average amount of working-experience as a professional reporter was 22 years, while the range was from 8 to 40. Fifty-four percent of respondents were working in Washington, D.C., and 46% were working in the other cities. Those not assigned to a particular candidate made up 62.8%. Whenever needed, they covered Bush, Gore, or the third-party candidates such as the Green Party’s Ralph Nader and the Reform Party’s Pat Buchanan. Twenty-three percent covered only Bush, and 14.2% of reporters covered Gore. Those covering the presidential campaign on a daily basis made up 39.8%, 31.8% followed the campaign several times a week, and 28.3% pursued it less than one time a week. Most staff writers outside Washington, D.C. noted that they also covered senatorial or gubernatorial campaigns. All the reporters interviewed regularly reported the Bush-Gore campaign in Washington, D.C. Of six reporters interviewed, four covered both Bush and Gore and two covered only the Bush campaign. One correspondent whose home office is outside Washington said that

Authors: Son, Young Jun. and Weaver, David.
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Coverage Balance 14
and the participants were called at a later time. When participants wanted, they were contacted
by e-mail, which helped this study to achieve a more accurate and extensive understanding of
reporters’ perceptions.
Six Washington-based newspaper reporters were finally identified as participants for the
interviews. Of these six reporters, two were recognized as non-respondents in the mail survey.
The interviews were conducted during June 2000, two months after the mail survey. The
reporters were asked to give their opinions of the campaign 2000 coverage and, more specifically,
which campaign situations were considered mainly for their policy and personality coverage.
43
Findings
Demographics and Working Conditions. Survey respondents were 68.1 % male and 31.9
% female. The average amount of working-experience as a professional reporter was 22 years,
while the range was from 8 to 40. Fifty-four percent of respondents were working in
Washington, D.C., and 46% were working in the other cities. Those not assigned to a particular
candidate made up 62.8%. Whenever needed, they covered Bush, Gore, or the third-party
candidates such as the Green Party’s Ralph Nader and the Reform Party’s Pat Buchanan.
Twenty-three percent covered only Bush, and 14.2% of reporters covered Gore. Those covering
the presidential campaign on a daily basis made up 39.8%, 31.8% followed the campaign several
times a week, and 28.3% pursued it less than one time a week. Most staff writers outside
Washington, D.C. noted that they also covered senatorial or gubernatorial campaigns.
All the reporters interviewed regularly reported the Bush-Gore campaign in Washington,
D.C. Of six reporters interviewed, four covered both Bush and Gore and two covered only the
Bush campaign. One correspondent whose home office is outside Washington said that


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