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Network news coverage of the U.S.Supreme Court

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Copyright (c) 1995

Abstract: The authors analyzed all televised evening news stories dealing with the Supreme Court’s activities and decisions by the three major television networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) during the eight years of President Reagan’s administration. Their objective was to describe the network coverage and examine the number of stories and types of legal issues addressed to determine whether the network reporting was consistent with the Supreme Court’s agenda and the proportion of attention and time that the Court dedicated to these legal issues during the same time frame. They also evaluated the quality of the content of the news stories relating to the Supreme Court’s decision-making and handling of certiorari petitions, pending cases and opinions.


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Publication Year:1995
Type of Material:Presentation
Language English
Issue:December 1, 1995.
Notes:The research method selected for this study was a content analysis of 871 videotaped evening news stories about the Supreme Court by the three networks culled from a library at the Vanderbilt Television News Archives for the relevant time period (September 1, 1981, through July 31, 1989). A team of four coders viewed and coded the stories. They achieved intercoder reliability by having each coder check 10 percent of the stories coded by another member of the team. In addition, they applied Holsti''s formula to certain subjective variables and to the measurements of quality characteristics, indicating intercoder reliability of 89 percent.
Conference:Broadcast Education Association National Convention
Subject: Vanderbilt Television News Archive -- Research Use
Record Number:10167
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00