ERIC Number: ED185625
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Status of Mass Media Coverage of Campaign '80.
Larson, Charles U.
Some of the similarities and differences in the news media coverage of the United States presidential campaign of 1980 are discussed in this paper. Among the differences related are the loss of the symbolic power of tbe primary elections, which forced the media to look for significant trends elsewhere; the mixture of politics with the entertainment media, best epitomized by cartoonist Garry Trudeau's endorsement of candidate John Anderson in his cartoon strip; and the candidates' return to the use of the "talking head" format for television spot commercials in preference to the "minidocumentary" spots of earlier campaigns. Among the similarities noted are the post-primary television news features and computerized vote projections, the use of candidates' pictures on the covers of national news magazines, the extended Sunday television interview programs featuring candidates, and the television spot commercial featuring celebrities. The paper then offers an explanation of the media coverage of the 1980 campaign based on the theory of James Barber, which holds that in presidential campaigns, a 12-year cycle exists consisting of three stages--"conflict,""conscious," and "conciliation." (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Effects; Presidential Campaigns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 10-12, 1980).