Category Archives: Media Buzz

News about the industry of print and broadcast journalism.

Study Shows Americans Distrust Campaign Coverage

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A new study reveals some interesting, yet not surprising, results regarding American’s perceptions of media coverage of politics.

Editor and Publisher highlights the outcome of the survey conducted by Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership National Leadership Index. Harvard interviewed a little more than 1,200 adults nationwide in September. 

The highlights:

  • When asked if election coverage was politically biased, 40% believed it was too liberal, 21% too conservative, and 30% found it neutral. Nine percent weren’t sure.
  • 64% of those polled do not trust press coverage of the presidential campaign.
  • 88% believe that campaign coverage focuses on trivial issues.
  • 84% believe that media coverage has too much influence on American voting choices.
  • 92% say it is important that the news media provide information on candidate’s specific policy plans, but 61% say the media does not provide enough coverage of policy plans.
  • 89% say it is important to hear about candidates’ personal values and ethics, but 43% say there is not enough coverage of personal values and ethics.

A few thoughts from my perspective:

These are all good examples of what we could call “say one thing and do another” among American voters. Yes, there is tremendous voter apathy, caused by the most part by negative campaigning and “gotcha” journalism. But yet, those tactics work. Negative campaigning effectively surpresses voter turnout time and time again. If it didn’t, candidates wouldn’t spend billions of dollars each cycle on them. “Gotcha” journalism improves ratings and sells more papers.

Often, we answer survey questions through the lens of idealism. In a perfect world – we want things to look like this. And then we realize the world is far from perfect…and we act as we usually do.

I share this because, as communicators, we need to realize that the mainstream media continues to loose it’s effectiveness. We need to continuously look for new ways to get our message out and expand our mix.

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ABC News Seeks to Attract Politically Active Youth on Facebook

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According to the New York Times via Bulldog Reporter, Facebook, the social networking site is teaming up with ABC News to create political content through a new “U.S. Politics” category. Facebook, which used to be limited to college students is now available for public use. Even old people like me can now connect with friends and colleagues on the site.

 

To underscore their collaboration, the two organizations will announce this week that they are jointly sponsoring Democratic and Republican presidential debates in New Hampshire on Jan. 5, three days before the primary election there. “Through this partnership, we want to extend the dialogue both before and after the debate,” Dan Rose, Facebook’s vice president for business development, told Times writer Brian Stelter.

 

The announcements are another sign that news organizations are looking to capitalize on the potential power of Facebook, which began as a database of college friendships, and other social networking sites. Media companies like the Times and the Washington Post have produced pages for use on Facebook and some newspapers, magazines and television stations have recently invited users to join special pages that are set up to follow reporters’ political coverage. But ABC‘s new relationship is intended to be deeper.

 

“There are debates going on at all times within Facebook,” David Westin, the president of ABC News and a new Facebook member, told the Times. “This allows us to participate in those debates, both by providing information and by learning from the users.”

Is your organization taping into the power of Facebook? Compared to rival MySpace, Facebook is carving a niche for themselves as a go-to site for professionals and organizations. Many of the groups I belong to, such as PRSA, have a presence on Facebook. It’s something to consider adding to your communications mix.

Look for a “Storytellers Network” Facebook group soon!

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