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Local TV Coverage of the 2000 General Election

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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 general election. We analyzed local broadcast television coverage on 74 stations in 58 markets in the last 30 days before the election to see whether a White House panel's recommendation of airing five minutes of candidate centered discourse (CCD) a night had an impact. We found that the 74 stations ran an average of 74 seconds of CCD per night. The average sound bite was 14 seconds; 55 percent of the stories focused on strategy; 24 percent focused on issues; and less than 1 percent were adwatch stories.