AnalysisDecember 27, 2000

A Lesson in Humility for Journalism

Coming from press critics, the following may strike some as out of character: We believe journalism should be praised for its work in the wild epilogue of election 2000. One reason the American people seemed calm but fascinated during the spectacle–even as they witnessed sometimes disgraceful ta …

AnalysisNovember 17, 2000

Hearing Too Much and Learning Too Little

As we watch the Overtime Campaign of the 2000 election, the headache of reporting it continues. Election night, when the networks made erroneous projections about who had won, was probably the worst moment in the 50-year history of television coverage of politics. Newspapers that prematurely misc …

AnalysisOctober 31, 2000

The Last Lap

In the closing weeks of the presidential race, coverage was strikingly negative, and Vice President Al Gore got the worst of it. In contrast, George W. Bush was twice as likely as Gore to get coverage that was positive in tone, more issue-oriented and more likely to be directly connected to citizens.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Tone of Coverage for Gore and Bush

The closing weeks of the 2000 campaign saw then-Vice President Al Gore getting more negative coverage, but both candidates saw a deluge of negative stories.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Major Story Themes in Late Campaign 2000 Coverage

More than half of the stories from the end of the 2000 campaign were about the internal politics of campaigning.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Frames of Debate Analysis

Debate coverage at the close of Campaign 2000 was more focused on the internal politics of the campaign than anything else.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Three Most Common Bush Themes

For then-Gov. George W. Bush, two of the three most popular story themes at the end of the 2000 campaign were focused on issues.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Three Most Common Gore Themes

For then-Vice President Al Gore, the three most popular story themes at the end of the 2000 campaign were about the fortuns of his campaign rather than his ideas, in contrast with his opponent.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Impact of Campaign Stories, by Medium

In each medium, most stories at the end of Campaign 2000 were focus on the impact on the candidates themselves rather than citizens or interest groups.

NumbersOctober 31, 2000

Timing of Story Themes

As the close of the 2000 campaign drew nearer the press focused more on “campaign internals” (or horse race stories) than it did policy issues.