2008 Presidential Campaign Coverage
PEJ produced 20 different reports on the presidential campaign of 2008--in addition to 46 separate Campaign Coverage Index (CCI) reports. The first dated back as far as July 2007. The studies ranged from a detailed analysis of the tone of the coverage in the final general election phase to a content audit of the candidate web sites. We believe the work amounts to the most granular and comprehensive examination of the media coverage of any presidential campaign in American history.
Here is a full list:
How the News Media Covered Religion in the 2008 General Election (Nov. 20, 2008)
Religion was a bigger story in the 2008 race than it might first at seem, though often it was in a negative light. The Project in conjunction with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examines how the media covered religious matters.
The Color of News (Oct. 29, 2008)
How did different press outlets cover the 2008 general election? A follow up study to the Winning the Media Campaign study focuses on the tone of coverage across different media sectors and even specific outlets, particularly on television.
Winning the Media Campaign (Oct. 22, 2008)
From the conventions, through the final debate--the critical phase of the election campaign, did the press favor Barack Obama, or was it disfavor with John McCain? Did Sarah Palin get better coverage than Joe Biden?
How the Media Have Handled Palin’s Religious Faith (Sept. 19, 2008)
Since being named to the GOP ticket by John McCain, Sarah Palin generated extensive coverage of many aspects of her background, her record in public office and her family life. But what did voters learn from the media about the Alaska Governor’s religious faith and beliefs?
McCain vs. Obama on the Web (Sept. 15, 2008)
What presence did the candidates establish online? Did Barack Obama take more advantage of this new platform? Did John McCain ever try to catch up? This report examines the campaign websites to assess the online campaign--an update of an earlier study from 2007.
Running on Faith/Two campaign speeches, one JFK moment? (with Forum)
In the 2008 primaries, religion was already a significant factor for candidates in both parties. But even with the Jeremiah Wright controversy, evangelical voter angst, and a Mormon candidate, the media largely avoided dealing directly with the explosive issue of faith.
Character and the Primaries of 2008 (May 29, 2008)
What were the dominant personal narratives conveyed in media coverage of the presidential candidates? An examination of the 2008 primary season examines the master character narratives that formed in the media.
New Hampshire Teaches National News Media a Lesson (Jan. 9, 2008)
It wasn’t quite “Dewey Defeats Truman,” but after the Jan. 8 Granite State primary confounded many of the pollsters and pundits, one of the key storylines that emerged in coverage of the McCain and Clinton victories was the media’s proclivity to predict and pre-analyze the results.
The Invisible Primary--Invisible No Longer (Oct. 29, 2007)
How did the news media cover the early months of the 2008 presidential election? A joint PEJ and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center report examined the early months, the ones that formed the first impression of the race.
Fred Thompson's Campaign Web Site Was Already in Full Swing (Sept. 4, 2007)
In a follow-up to a July 12 study on the Web sites of the other Presidential hopefuls, PEJ finds that Thompson’s full-service site is among the most sophisticated of anyone running--even before he had declared.
Campaign for President Takes Center Stage in Coverage: Quarterly Report on the News
In the second quarter of 2007, the presidential campaign supplanted the debate over Iraq as the No. 1 story in the media.
Election 2008: Candidate Web Sites, Propaganda or News? - A PEJ Study (Aug. 20, 2007)
A study of 19 campaign sites finds Democrats are more interactive, Republicans are more likely to talk about “values,” and neither wants to talk about ideology.
Topline: Campaign Topic and Top Storylines
The Media Verdict on the Iowa Caucuses is Loud and Clear
Convention Buzz Detector
The Media Spotlight Shines Brighter on Michelle Obama than Cindy McCain
Obama Rumors Get More Press
Betting on Biden
Big Events Eclipse the Issues
The Palin Phenomenon
What Cable Channels Are Covering After the Election
Weekly Campaign Coverage Index Reports
In January 2008, the Project created the Campaign Coverage Index (CCI), a running content analysis of media coverage that measured both the nature of the campaign narrative and the amount of coverage devoted to each candidate. The CCI was published each week from January 15 through November 4. Links to all published CCI reports is available here.