From Media Tenor
New York, August 9, 2004 – The network evening news programs are not providing the public with the information voters find most important during the election year, such as the economy, healthcare and education. As a study by Media Tenor, a non-partisan, independent institute analyzing the presidential campaign coverage shows, the share of the coverage dealing with these issues remains small on the three major networks’ evening news broadcasts.
In the first week of August, reports on the economy made up merely 3.1% of the analyzed media coverage. The average share of the coverage in the past three months was 3.7%.
In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, respondents were asked to name the single most important issue in their vote for president this year. For 26% of the participants, the most important issue is the economy, while 19% named Iraq and only 18% considered the war on terror a decisive factor in their vote.
At the beginning of August, stories on terrorism and domestic security in TV network news jumped to a share of nearly 28% of the entire coverage. The share of reports on Iraq in the overall coverage fell to under 12%.Clearly an improving economy (though it moves in starts and stops) doesn’t play into the media’s preffered election coverage strategy.