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Local TV News Coverage of the 2000 Primary Campaigns

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Abstract:

Most Americans say they get most of their news from local television. We analyzed the local news programs watched by most Americans to find out what news they received on the 2000 primary campaigns. We recorded and studied news broadcasts on 19 top-rated stations in 11 markets over 30 days. We found, for example, that during that period, the stations devoted a total of one hour and 59 minutes to political coverage. The average candidate sound bite was 10 seconds. 62 percent of the stories were focused on strategy/horserace; 21 concentrated on an issue; and 18% were an adwatch, mixture or other.