'08 Race Prevails in News Coverage; Stories Heavy on Democrats

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 21, 2007 | Go to article overview
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'08 Race Prevails in News Coverage; Stories Heavy on Democrats


Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

An analysis of more than 35,000 stories from print, broadcast and online sources finds political bickering and analysis over the 2008 election topping the news, a year before the vote.

According to a report released yesterday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the presidential election has emerged as the leading news story for the second quarter this year.

The fare is heavily Democratic, with 51 percent of the coverage centered on Democrats in the first half of the year, compared with 33 percent devoted to Republicans. The rest was divided among third- or mixed-party coverage.

"The presidential campaign took center stage," the report said, garnering more coverage than Iraq war policy, immigration issues and controversy over a racial-tinged remark by radio host Don Imus. Between April and June, the press opted for the "escalating war" among White House hopefuls, particularly after Congress voted to continue funding Iraq military operations in May.

Some candidates wooed the press more than others. Among Democrats, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois eclipsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York in the "derby for free media exposure," the report said. Mr. Obama generated 622 stories in newspapers and network television alone in the second quarter of the year, compared with 566 stories for Mrs. Clinton and 367 for former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Interest in leading Republicans was more tepid. Sen. John McCain of Arizona led the roster with a total of 383 stories, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani followed with 341 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was third at 318.

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