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Turning a Blind Eye: Why Reporters Ignore Third-Party Candidates
Unformatted Document Text:  Turning a Blind Eye: Why Reporters Ignore Third-Party Candidates Lack resources A lack of money is another reason political reporters gave to explain why third- party candidates are often ignored. Marinucci said that a newspaper like the San Francisco Chronicle does not have the financial resources to devote extensive coverage to candidates who have little chance of winning. She said her newspaper will usually do a few pieces about a gubernatorial candidate from the Green or Libertarian parties just to let voters know they are on the ballot, but the organization cannot justify assigning a full- time reporter to cover a third-party contender exclusively. Marinucci said: Our coverage of third-party candidates is not regular by any means… Let’s say [we] have …a Green Party candidate like Peter Camejo [who ran in 2002]. We’d certainly do a profile to tell people where he stands on issues… But in terms of regular coverage like we cover Democratic and Republican candidates, we just don’t have the staffing to do it. Barabak made similar comments, saying that even a newspaper as big and as influential as the Los Angeles Times does not have the resources available to cover every candidate in a gubernatorial campaign. As Barabak put it: “The thing I always come back to is a question of triage… Even the LA Times with all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men cannot devote equal resources to every candidate.” In addition to a lack of monetary funds, Talev said newspapers have limited news holes. With so many stories competing for space each day, she said, editors are forced to make decisions based on such factors as what will be the most important information to the largest possible audience. Unless readers express an increased demand for news about third-party candidates, she said, journalists have little incentive to devote limited space to them. The journalists’ comments reported in this section suggest that print newspapers have an economic incentive to limit the field of candidates only to those candidates which 18

Authors: Kirch, John.
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Turning a Blind Eye: Why Reporters Ignore Third-Party Candidates
Lack resources
 
A lack of money is another reason political reporters gave to explain why third-
party candidates are often ignored.  Marinucci said that a newspaper like the San
Francisco Chronicle does not have the financial resources to devote extensive coverage 
to candidates who have little chance of winning.  She said her newspaper will usually do 
a few pieces about a gubernatorial candidate from the Green or Libertarian parties just to 
let voters know they are on the ballot, but the organization cannot justify assigning a full-
time reporter to cover a third-party contender exclusively.  Marinucci said:
Our coverage of third-party candidates is not regular by any means…  Let’s say [we] 
have …a Green Party candidate like Peter Camejo [who ran in 2002].  We’d certainly do 
a profile to tell people where he stands on issues…  But in terms of regular coverage like 
we cover Democratic and Republican candidates, we just don’t have the staffing to do it.
Barabak made similar comments, saying that even a newspaper as big and as 
influential as the Los Angeles Times does not have the resources available to cover every 
candidate in a gubernatorial campaign.  As Barabak put it:  “The thing I always come 
back to is a question of triage…  Even the LA Times with all the kings’ horses and all the 
kings’ men cannot devote equal resources to every candidate.”
In addition to a lack of monetary funds, Talev said newspapers have limited news 
holes.  With so many stories competing for space each day, she said, editors are forced to 
make decisions based on such factors as what will be the most important information to 
the largest possible audience.  Unless readers express an increased demand for news 
about third-party candidates, she said, journalists have little incentive to devote limited 
space to them.
The journalists’ comments reported in this section suggest that print newspapers 
have an economic incentive to limit the field of candidates only to those candidates which 
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