Who Was Covered on Network News
As in print, most of the stories on network TV about the presidential debates in 2004 were about both candidates, not focused on one or the other.
Tone of Network Coverage of Kerry and Bush
On network television, the tone of the debate coverage in 2004 was even more positive for John Kerry than in the media overall. Nearly six in ten stories were positive about Kerry, compared with less than two in ten for Bush.
How Network News Framed the Campaign
On network news, how the debates might impact the horse race overwhelmed any other theme coming out of the event.
Who Network News Stories Impacted
Roughly eight out of ten news stories about the presidential candidates during the primaries in 2000 focused on things that affected politicians rather than citizens.
How the Blogs Framed The Campaign
Bloggers, like traditional media, focused heavily on the impact of the debates on the horse race, but they were also much more likely to discuss policy and candidate fitness.
The End of “Network News”
What happened this summer, and particularly last week, is likely to be recalled as the end of the era of network news. At the very least, mark this as the moment when the networks abdicated their authority with the American public.
Appearance of Character Themes and Rebuttals
For both Sen. Kerry and President Bush, rebuttals of the dominant themes of the campaign were not frequent. The charge of Kerry being liberal received the most rebuttals.
Character and the Campaign
If presidential campaigns are about character and control of message, neither candidate has had much success so far, a new PEJ study finds.
Sources for Character Theme Statements
The dominant source for what the press was writing about the candidates in the spring of 2004 was the campaigns themselves, including the rival campaigns’ attack operations.
Positive and Negative Themes by Candidate
The press coverage leading up to the conventions in 2004 tended to focus on Bush, both positive and negative character themes. There was little about comparatively little about John Kerry and most of it tended to be negative.