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Network news coverage of campaign advertisements: media's ability to reinforce campaign messages

American Politics Research [September 2001]


Copyright (c) 2001 Thousand Oaks

Abstract: In this article, the author examines whether network news coverage of a campaign advertisementís issue can reinforce the adís basic message for the public and later individual candidate assessment. The author uses the 1988 Willie Horton ad to investigate this question, combining data from the 1988 American National Election Study with content analysis from the Vanderbilt Television News Archives. Results show that general campaign coverage of race and crime issues as well as coverage of Horton influenced individual ideological perceptions of Dukakis. In line with Zallerís theory of public opinion, this influence was limited to certain individuals within the population, namely, media coverage affects individuals with moderate levels of political awareness who have weaker initial predispositions. Combined, these results demonstrate that media can exert both significantly and substantively significant influence on the public. .

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Publication Year:2001
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: American Politics Research
Publication Info:Volume 29 Number 5
Issue:September 2001
Publisher:Thousand Oaks
Notes:Study relies partially on content analysis from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive. From the Appendix to the study: "Content analysis was conducted from the Vanderbilt Television News Archives from August 29,1988 to November 7, 1988. Coverage was measured each day during this period and initially broken down into three categories: crime-, Horton-, and race-related stories. When a story was found that pertained to one of these issues, it was placed into one of these areas. Then, all three categories were combined under one measure to determine the total Horton-crime-race-related coverage. Ö"(p. 479)
Subject: Vanderbilt Television News Archive -- Research Use
Record Number:10066
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00