Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tue January 17, 2012
Shop Talk - January 17
Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about the way the media in general covers the presidential nomination process.
A study by George Mason University found the number of stories about the primaries generally declined in recent decades on the evening network newscasts. It also found the vast majority of stories focus on the "horse race" rather than substantive issues.
The panelists have the same impression of recent primaries, including this year's GOP contest. They feel so many voters remain undecided for so long is because they have little substantive information about the candidates to help them make a choice.
The panelists feel this has been a problem not just in television news coverage but in radio and print too. "Radio is doing as much image making as TV right now," said panelist Mike Murray.
Panelist Bill Knight also feels too much coverage has focused on side bar issues. "The caucuses in Iowa and the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina have focused on the influence of Super PACs, which is a story but is not necessarily the campaign story," Knight said.
He is frustrated as a voter because few reporters have bothered to delve deeper and write stories that explain what candidates' positions mean to the average American.