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Guest Thinkers

Less than 5% of Election Coverage Focuses on the Issues

How bad have things gotten when it comes to substantive coverage and discussion of the presidential election? Pew finds that at the end of August, just 2% of total news coverage focused on issues rather than the day-to-day strategies and conflicts between the two candidates (graph above).

Scholars have long recognized this trend in journalism towards a singular focus on the horse race to the exclusion of a substantive focus on the issues. In a forthcoming entry in the Encyclopedia of Survey Research I review this research and discuss its links to the growing over-abundance of daily tracking polls.

You can read the final draft of this forthcoming article in a past blog post.


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