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Balance in Campaign Coverage
Unformatted Document Text:  Coverage Balance 15 Washington office was expected to keep up with the campaign as closely as possible, although the reporter’s news organization depended heavily on wire services for the daily coverage of the campaign. Perceptions of Coverage Balance. Survey respondents’ perceptions of media coverage favorability are shown in Table 1. The mean values of general media and of peer reporters were 4.31 and 4.24, which were not significantly different from one another (p .05). However, both values were significantly different from the mean value of 4.0, which was assumed to represent the perception that coverage was very balanced (p .05). The finding suggests that respondents perceived Bush coverage by the media in general and fellow reporters as being relatively favorable. But respondents saw their own coverage as more balanced than the coverage of other journalists. Self-reporting had a mean value of 4.02 (and a smaller standard deviation), which was almost identical to the very balanced value of 4.0 and was significantly different from that of the general media and of peer reporters (p .05). --- Table 1 about here --- Reporting on Personality. Perceptions of coverage of candidates’ personalities were significantly related to those of the media favorability for Bush, as the OLS regression analysis in Table 2 demonstrates. The variable of the perception of Gore personality coverage proved a fairly strong and negative predictor ( β = -.45, p .001) after controlling for the other variables, suggesting that the less favorable the perceived coverage of Gore’s personality, the more favorable the perceived overall media coverage of Bush. Perception of Bush personality coverage proved significant in a positive way ( β = .24, p .05), suggesting that the more favorable the coverage of Bush’s personality was perceived to be, the more favorable they felt the overall media reporting of Bush was. However, perceptions of coverage of both candidates’

Authors: Son, Young Jun. and Weaver, David.
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Coverage Balance 15
Washington office was expected to keep up with the campaign as closely as possible, although
the reporter’s news organization depended heavily on wire services for the daily coverage of the
campaign.
Perceptions of Coverage Balance. Survey respondents’ perceptions of media coverage
favorability are shown in Table 1. The mean values of general media and of peer reporters were
4.31 and 4.24, which were not significantly different from one another (p
.05). However, both
values were significantly different from the mean value of 4.0, which was assumed to represent
the perception that coverage was very balanced (p
.05). The finding suggests that respondents
perceived Bush coverage by the media in general and fellow reporters as being relatively
favorable. But respondents saw their own coverage as more balanced than the coverage of other
journalists. Self-reporting had a mean value of 4.02 (and a smaller standard deviation), which
was almost identical to the very balanced value of 4.0 and was significantly different from that of
the general media and of peer reporters (p
.05).
--- Table 1 about here ---
Reporting on Personality. Perceptions of coverage of candidates’ personalities were
significantly related to those of the media favorability for Bush, as the OLS regression analysis
in Table 2 demonstrates. The variable of the perception of Gore personality coverage proved a
fairly strong and negative predictor (
β
= -.45, p
.001) after controlling for the other variables,
suggesting that the less favorable the perceived coverage of Gore’s personality, the more
favorable the perceived overall media coverage of Bush. Perception of Bush personality
coverage proved significant in a positive way (
β
= .24, p
.05), suggesting that the more
favorable the coverage of Bush’s personality was perceived to be, the more favorable they felt
the overall media reporting of Bush was. However, perceptions of coverage of both candidates’


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