Sunday, September 25, 2016

U.S. TV news 'blacking out' Johnson, 3rd parties

MRC Study: Challengers to Clinton and Trump Get Just 0.03% of TV News Airtime Rich Noyes, MRC Newsbusters:

September 6, 2016 - "Not since Ross Perot in 1996 has a third-party presidential candidate polled as strongly as Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is right now.... In spite of this, the broadcast network evening newscasts are essentially blacking out the existence of alternatives to Clinton and Trump....

"MRC analysts examined all 1,713 campaign stories on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from January 1 through August 31 (1,472 full reports, 104 brief items and an additional 137 stories on other topics that included some discussion of the campaign or candidates).

"Not surprisingly, Trump has drawn most of the attention: 1,773 minutes of evening news airtime during the first eight months of the year, far ahead of Clinton’s 1,020 minutes of coverage. Since the primaries ended on June 7, the networks’ focus has stayed on Trump, who received 705 minutes of coverage — much of it about various controversies — vs. 437 minutes for Clinton....

"Johnson has received a mere 11 seconds of evening news coverage — just a single sentence on the NBC Nightly News as he was formally nominated back in May. That means Clinton has received more than 5,000 times more coverage than Johnson, while Donald Trump garnered nearly 10,000 times more evening news airtime than his Libertarian challenger.

"To date, neither ABC nor CBS has mentioned Johnson’s candidacy on their evening newscasts, although  ABC has hosted him on This Week, and he’s been discussed on CBS’s Face the Nation and CBS This Morning.

"Green Party candidate Jill Stein has fared even worse, drawing a paltry three seconds of discussion in August on the NBC Nightly News. Stein’s name wasn’t even mentioned.... While Stein was a guest on ABC’s This Week, like Johnson, ABC and CBS evening news viewers have yet to hear about her candidacy.

"The story is similar for conservative independent Evan McMullin.... When he launched his candidacy in early August, ABC’s World News Tonight devoted 32 seconds of a larger campaign segment to McMullin.... Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle, who is on the ballot in 29 states, has received zero coverage from the Big Three evening newscasts.

"There’s been some coverage of these candidates on cable news (CNN has hosted town halls for Johnson and Stein, for example), but the totals pale in comparison to the coverage of Trump and Clinton. And entrepreneurial voters who want to learn more about these candidates can get additional information from alternative news sources, social media and/or the candidates’ own Web sites.

"But it’s the day-to-day mass media coverage that validates candidates in the eyes of most voters.... Without significant media coverage, most voters probably won’t even consider the alternative candidates of 2016, no matter how dissatisfied they are with the two major party nominees."

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