ERIC Number: ED158336
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Accident and Design: Implications of Technical and Functional Factors of Network Television Coverage of the Ford/Carter Presidential Debates.
Frye, Jerry K.; Bryski, Bruce G.
All of the television camera shots in the three Ford/Carter presidential debates were studied according to type, frequency, and duration to determine whether the images presented by the camera could have influenced the audience's perception of the candidates. According to the debate rules, each candidate was allowed three minutes to answer a question and two minutes for follow up on an opponent's question; an overall evaluation revealed that Ford was asked 13 follow up questions, while Carter was asked 10, and that Ford spoke on camera eight and a half minutes longer than Carter. This time discrepancy was explained by the different rates of speaking of the men. The camera shots for each candidate were analyzed as follows: the most obvious single shot was the talking head/shoulders image with little variation between men; in reaction shots, Carter projected a positive image while Ford projected a negative one; in shots where one man answered while the audience observed the other, Carter was shown reacting to Ford more frequently; and in camera shots where neither man was talking, there was no advantage given to either candidate. The camera shots for all three debates were judged as fair to both candidates, whether by accident or design. (Data tables are appended.) (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Presidential Campaigns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Boston, Massachusetts, March 16-18, 1978)