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Balance in Campaign Coverage
Unformatted Document Text:  Coverage Balance 21 kept individuals’ biases, both cognitive and motivational, from influencing their campaign coverage: Thus, “We dismiss such charges of liberal bias as a stale stereotype”; “The media did have no obvious intentions regarding their different personality casts.” In short, although the belief in objectivity is seen as doubtful in today’s journalism, no other journalistic norm seems to entirely replace objectivity when it comes to balanced coverage. This study did not focus on the structural constraints of news organizations on individual reporters’ campaign coverage, by which journalists’ values and characteristics, while being potentially influential on their reporting, are occasionally constrained by power relations in the newsroom and news-production practices. 48 Considering the existence of increasingly dominant corporate journalism, more possible reasons for reporters’ favorable perceptions of coverage of Bush can be sought in a more competitive and self-regulative media environment. Campaign reporters may be argued to be too close to the news in discerning media favorability or balance in coverage. But campaign reporters in the presidential election are recruited from among those who have the best journalistic performances. The rationale of Stephen Hess, namely, that “Washington reporters are, almost by definition, the stars of their organizations,” 49 can be applied to those covering the presidential campaign, considering the importance of the presidential election to a news organization as a major political event, whose characteristics make it permissible to recognize respondents’ aggregate perceptions as noteworthy. A couple of Washington correspondents whose home offices are outside Washington noted the institutionalization of the casting of candidates’ personalities to the entire nation. The established frames of the candidates’ personalities, mostly by the Washington-based elite media, not only have an influence on local and regional media, but are also to some extent self- sustaining. Thus, “We are very fearful of being different from the elite media. Voters are seeing

Authors: Son, Young Jun. and Weaver, David.
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Coverage Balance 21
kept individuals’ biases, both cognitive and motivational, from influencing their campaign
coverage: Thus, “We dismiss such charges of liberal bias as a stale stereotype”; “The media did
have no obvious intentions regarding their different personality casts.” In short, although the
belief in objectivity is seen as doubtful in today’s journalism, no other journalistic norm seems to
entirely replace objectivity when it comes to balanced coverage.
This study did not focus on the structural constraints of news organizations on individual
reporters’ campaign coverage, by which journalists’ values and characteristics, while being
potentially influential on their reporting, are occasionally constrained by power relations in the
newsroom and news-production practices.
48
Considering the existence of increasingly dominant
corporate journalism, more possible reasons for reporters’ favorable perceptions of coverage of
Bush can be sought in a more competitive and self-regulative media environment. Campaign
reporters may be argued to be too close to the news in discerning media favorability or balance
in coverage. But campaign reporters in the presidential election are recruited from among those
who have the best journalistic performances. The rationale of Stephen Hess, namely, that
“Washington reporters are, almost by definition, the stars of their organizations,”
49
can be
applied to those covering the presidential campaign, considering the importance of the
presidential election to a news organization as a major political event, whose characteristics
make it permissible to recognize respondents’ aggregate perceptions as noteworthy.
A couple of Washington correspondents whose home offices are outside Washington
noted the institutionalization of the casting of candidates’ personalities to the entire nation. The
established frames of the candidates’ personalities, mostly by the Washington-based elite media,
not only have an influence on local and regional media, but are also to some extent self-
sustaining. Thus, “We are very fearful of being different from the elite media. Voters are seeing


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