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How do the media cover political campaigns?

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Madelyn Truitt eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One way to look at answering this question is to realize that different forms of media cover issues in different ways. These days, most media have an electronic or digital component; even print newspapers and magazines tend to have websites that are accessible 24 hours a day. There are television news networks such as CNN, MSNBC and FOX News that run news basically around the clock, and in the event of a breaking story, will pre-empt other programs to cover news, including news related to political campaigns. Most of these news networks feature intensive analysis of political news as well, with some programs devoted to this. Major networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS also have news programs that cover political news, including they rightly news broadcasts, morning talk shows that feature news (such as The Today Show), and evening documentary programs covering in-depth news stories (such as ABC's 20/20, or CBS' 60 Minutes). There are also radio networks that provide news coverage and analysis, such as National Public Radio and its affiliates, and these stations will also sometimes offer breaking immediate news coverage.

The so-called "24-7 news cycle" is a distinctively contemporary phenomenon that allows consumers to access news coverage virtually anytime they want, because all forms of news media are available via digital platforms on the internet, and so many people use smartphones and tablets equipped with wireless internet access. Added to this easy electronic access, social media provides networking for people to share news stories and links with one another, and this can sometimes affect the news coverage itself, particularly if a story "goes viral" or gets shared in a widespread and rapid way, which can happen via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Instagram. Politicians and their campaign managers are aware of how important this rapid-fire news cycle can be, and utilize social media and news media coverage to their advantage wherever possible.


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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The media will cover political campaigns...

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