Citation

News Coverage of Campaign Issue Positions: Causes and Consequences

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Abstract:

It is no secret that citizens lack detailed information regarding the issue positions of candidates. Some blame the media for focusing their attention on scandals and polls while ignoring issues (Patterson 1994). Alternatively, one could blame electoral pressures that cause candidates to speak vaguely about their policies on the rare occasions that they do talk about the issues (Milita, Ryan, and Simas 2013). Of course, the fault could lie with citizens who opt out of paying attention to politics (Prior 2005). We examine what causes individuals to lack information about candidate issue positions and the consequences of that ignorance.

The analysis utilizes data that we collected of news coverage from 70 communities across America during 2012 presidential campaign. The 70 communities were in 33 states including 24 pre-election “toss-up” states. We have coded news stories for mentions of issues including whether or not the article clearly articulated a candidates position. The media in more competitive locales and large cities devote more content to the election, but they do not necessarily provide more issue coverage. This is because the additional stories tend to focus on local appearances or man on the street interviews regarding the election especially in toss-up states. We pair this data on news coverage with survey data to see if richer information environments led to more “correct” voting decisions (Lau and Redlawsk 1997).
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Association:
Name: Southern Political Science Association
URL:
http://www.spsa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p705188_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Milita, Kerri. and Ryan, John. "News Coverage of Campaign Issue Positions: Causes and Consequences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, The Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan 09, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p705188_index.html>

APA Citation:

Milita, K. and Ryan, J. B. , 2014-01-09 "News Coverage of Campaign Issue Positions: Causes and Consequences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, The Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p705188_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: It is no secret that citizens lack detailed information regarding the issue positions of candidates. Some blame the media for focusing their attention on scandals and polls while ignoring issues (Patterson 1994). Alternatively, one could blame electoral pressures that cause candidates to speak vaguely about their policies on the rare occasions that they do talk about the issues (Milita, Ryan, and Simas 2013). Of course, the fault could lie with citizens who opt out of paying attention to politics (Prior 2005). We examine what causes individuals to lack information about candidate issue positions and the consequences of that ignorance.

The analysis utilizes data that we collected of news coverage from 70 communities across America during 2012 presidential campaign. The 70 communities were in 33 states including 24 pre-election “toss-up” states. We have coded news stories for mentions of issues including whether or not the article clearly articulated a candidates position. The media in more competitive locales and large cities devote more content to the election, but they do not necessarily provide more issue coverage. This is because the additional stories tend to focus on local appearances or man on the street interviews regarding the election especially in toss-up states. We pair this data on news coverage with survey data to see if richer information environments led to more “correct” voting decisions (Lau and Redlawsk 1997).


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Media News, Partisan Views, Real-World Cues: The Effect of Macro-Partisanship on Network News Issue Coverage


 
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