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Political Coverage

Charlotte Reporter Looks at Why Politicians Use Local News Clips in Campaign Ads


After his news reports appeared in ads for North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R) and incumbent Kay Hagan (D), WCNC reporter Stuart Watson said he got tired of having people ask him if he “approved this message.” He asked a local expert about the practice of using news clips from local TV stations without permission.

Turns out, no permission is needed. But a local expert told the reporter for the Charlotte, N.C. NBC affiliate, the candidates are trying to bask in the reflected glow of a local station’s credibility.

So why DO campaigns use news clips? Why don’t they just hire better looking actors?

“It is an attempt to lend some credibility to the accusations the candidates and their campaigns are trying to make,” said Catawba College political scientist Michael Bitzer.

Does the deluge of TV ads even make a difference?

“I think for the average voter it’s probably just a wash,” Bitzer said. “They have already muted that particular ad.”

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30 Minutes on Philadelphia TV News: Lots of Political Ads, Zero Political Stories

KYW-TV_openAnd herein lies some of the problem with getting, as study after study suggest most Americans do, most of your news from local TV: you may be missing something.

The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government, took a look at thirty minutes of local television–specifically, Philadelphia’s CBS-owned KYW. Researchers watched the station’s 6:00 p.m. newscast and found plenty of politics–in the form of nasty political ads–but absolutely no news coverage of the political races themselves:
Read more

Kentucky ND Tells Senate Candidates to Stop Using News Clips in Campaign Spots

wave Rep SenateIt’s election time, when candidates pay to run spots either bashing their opponents or making themselves look good.

Here in New York City, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is using clips from WABC and WCBS along with some national news outlets to show he’s tough on crime.

Bill Shory, news director for Louisville, Ky. NBC affiliate WAVE, said the use of his station’s reports in campaign ads have led his viewers to believe WAVE is endorsing one candidate over another.

In an open letter on the station’s website, Shory said he’s had enough and has presented a two step plan to deal with the issue.

Shory said he’s gotten complaints about ads from the Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes. He said he sent the two letters, (click on their names to read the letters) asking them to stop using clips from WAVE in their campaign ads. He then said WAVE would let the viewers know what’s going on by “presenting ‘all facts, statements, and coverage truthfully and in the proper context.” Read more

Stations Ramp Up Political Coverage Ahead of Midterms

local newsroom_304x200TVNewsCheck has an in-depth look at how station groups are preparing for the midterm elections. “Debates, roundtables, aggressive campaign beat reporting and political fact-checking will be more prevalent on-air between Labor Day and Election Day than they have in the past,” Diana Marszalek writes:

It’s particularly notable that the activity is occurring in a mid-term election year, since local TV has traditionally paid little attention to non-presidential politics long considered “dull and boring to a lot of stations,” says RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender.

Cavender says he’s not surprised that local broadcasters are ramping things up considering they are serving a progressively more disgruntled electorate. “Stations read that as a heightened interest in how the November mid-term elections turn out,” he says. “So they are going to make them increasingly important.” Read more

Pew Study: Not Many TV Stations Have Reporters Dedicated to Covering State Politics

PJ-2014-07-10-statehouse-09The Pew Research Center just released a study looking at the coverage of state politics.

According to the study, of the 1,592 statehouse journalists in the US, less than half are full time and 38 percent are print journalists.

Just 14% of the nation’s local television stations with news programs assign a reporter to the statehouse. Overall, television reporters account for 17% of the total statehouse reporting pool, and just 12% of the full-time statehouse reporting corps.

Last September, ABC’s owned stations dissolved its political bureau covering California’s capital for stations in Los Angeles (KABC), San Francisco Bay Area (KGO) and Fresno (KFSN).

Stephen Miskin, spokesman for the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus and for the speaker and majority leader told researchers, “A lot of people still get their news from TV and they’re not here.”

KDVR Launches Sunday Political Show

KDVR COpoliticsDenver Fox affiliate KDVR has launched “#COpolitics — From the Source,” a weekly political show hosted by Eli Stokols. The show airs Sundays at 9 a.m., following “Fox News Sunday.”

“Eli championed the idea of doing the show outside the station in a non-studio environment. The result is a cool, contemporary-looking program that is truly unique and different,” KDVR news director Ed Kosowski wrote in a note to staff last week. “Thanks to everyone who worked incredibly hard for many weeks to make this show a reality.”

The show will be taped at The Source, an artisan food market in Denver. According to KDVR, the show will occasionally go on the road “to ‘the source’ of where the issues are having an impact on Coloradans lives.”

Read Kosowski’s note after the jump. Read more

WPIX Partners With City & State to Expand Political Coverage

wpix logoWPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York City, is partnering with NYC-based company City & State to expand its political coverage.

As part of the partnership, City & State columnists will appear on WPIX’s newscasts and “PIX11 News Closeup,” a political affairs show hosted by Marvin Scott. The two organizations will also work together on long-form investigative pieces.

“The collaboration between PIX11 and City & State, two iconic New York news institutions, could not be coming at a better time…it has never been more important for our viewers to know the impact of politics and policy on their lives and the lives of their families,” WPIX vice president of news Mark Effron said in a statement.

The partnership begins in June and runs through Election Day in November.

Political Analyst Frank Torres Parts Ways with Orlando’s News 13

torres news 13Political analyst Frank Torres has left Central Florida News 13, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

“I asked to be released from my News 13 contract to go free agent, and they agreed,” Torres told Sentinel media reporter Hal Boedeker. “It just felt like I was always going to be backing up Lou [Frey] and Dick [Batchelor], and I wanted the opportunity to go elsewhere and be The Guy.”

Torres has worked at News 13 since January 2012.

Local Meteorologists Interview Obama on Climate Change

Eight meteorologists are in Washington, D.C. today to interview President Obama on climate change. The interviews were timed with the release of a new study assessing the effects of climate change in the United States.

Participating in the interviews are John Morales of WTVJ in Miami, Jim Gandy of WLTX in Columbia, S.C., Megan Glaros of WBBM in Chicago, Bill Martin of KTVU in San Francisco, Jeff Renner of KING in Seattle and Janice Huff of WNBC in New York (pictured below with Martin). NBC News’ Al Roker and ABC News’ Ginger Zee will also sit down with the President.

The interviews will take place at 2:45 p.m. in the White House Rose Garden.

Hearst Stations Expand Political Coverage

hearst logoHearst Television has announced an expansion of its political coverage going into the 2014 election cycle. Under the “Commitment 2014″ banner, the 28 Hearst stations will give politics a minimum of 12 minutes in the 30 days leading up to the general election and some primaries.

“Audiences demand intelligent, in-depth coverage of politics and elections in their local communities, and broadcasters are investing in new ways to meet that demand, ” Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb said in a statement. “We want Hearst Television to be the most widely distributed provider of political news content in their markets, and we will generate content to the best available screen.”

The biennial pledge is a renewal of a policy Hearst first instituted in 2000, when the station group committed to five minutes of nightly airtime. In addition to renewing a partnership with PolitiFact, Hearst will also launch “In Their Own Words,” a feature allowing candidates to record video statements on issues that will be available online and on mobile devices.

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