ISBN-10:
1442200685
ISBN-13:
9781442200685
Pub. Date:
09/16/2010
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008 / Edition 3

The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008 / Edition 3

by Stephen J. Farnsworth, Robert S. Lichter

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Overview

The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008 / Edition 3

The Nightly News Nightmare, Third Edition, examines news coverage of presidential nomination and election campaigns from 1988 to 2008. The book focuses on changes in the amount, tone, and focus of news coverage in these different electoral contexts. In addition to network news, the authors examine online news, cable television, talk radio, candidate campaign discourse in these election years. Farnsworth and Lichter find that the news media, despite the wide variety of outlets, have consistent problems in terms of fairness and focus on substantive matters rather than the horse-race reporting of the latest polls. In addition to the extensive discussion of the 2008 campaign, the third edition offers far more discussion and evidence regarding the use of alternative media, including online content, in the most recent presidential election. The authors conclude that online news had many of the same problems found in mainstream news coverage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442200685
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/16/2010
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stephen J. Farnsworth is assistant professor of communication at George Mason University and a former newspaper journalist. S. Robert Lichter is professor of communication at George Mason University and director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

Table of Contents

List of Tables ix

Preface to the Third Edition xi

Acknowledgments xv

1 The Media and Presidential Elections: Studying News Content 1

2 A Need-to-Know Basis? Covering Issues of Substance and the Horse Race 29

3 Who Elected You? Candidates versus Reporters 59

4 A Plague on (Almost) All Your Houses: Fairness, Negativity, and Accuracy 93

5 "Nobody Does It Better"? Comparing Key Campaign News Sources 139

6 Maybe Next Year? The Future of Campaign Coverage 167

Appendix A Campaign Information Items Used in the Content Analysis 185

Appendix B Internet Resources on the News Media and Presidential Elections 191

References 195

Index 215

About the Authors 227

What People are Saying About This

Richard Davis

Farnsworth and Lichter’s update of their now-classic tome on media coverage of campaigns is another tour de force. Their inclusion of the 2008 presidential campaign, a singularly significant campaign in terms of media role, particularly in the context of recent presidential campaigns, documents the dramatic shifts in media role over the past 20 years. They offer a gold mine of data for political scientists studying media electoral trends. They also provide a compelling argument for traditional media reform, particularly as traditional news organizations meet the challenge of the Internet.

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