OLD Media Moves

Economy dominates media coverage

September 23, 2008

The Project for Excellence in Journalism notes that the economy was the dominant issue covered in the general media during the past week.

The economyMark Jurkowitz writes, “Although it accounted for nearly half the campaign newshole, the focus on the economy practically came out of the blue. While the nation’s fiscal health has been shaky for some time, the economy has often been relegated to secondary status as a campaign storyline. In the week of Sept. 8-14, for example, the issue accounted for only 4% of campaign coverage. And in the past two months (before last week), it exceeded 5% of the election newshole in only one week. (This is separate from coverage of the economy in general, apart from the campaign.

“The economy’s sudden emergence as the dominant election issue highlights the degree to which the campaign has seemed to lurch from big event to campaign episode without much sustained narrative. In the 15 weeks since the general election campaign began, there has been a different top campaign storyline every week, with two exceptions. Obama’s overseas trip dominated two straight weeks in July and now the economy has spent two weeks as top theme (June 9-15 and Sept. 15-21). The top storylines have most often involved strategy and horserace. Indeed, last week was only the fourth week since early June that a policy issue has been the top theme.”

Read more here.

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