ERIC Number: ED284281
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Ferraro Financial Furor: How the Television Networks Covered It.
Norton, Jeanne M.; Sanders, Luther W.
A study compared the three major American television networks' early evening newscast coverage of 1984 vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro's financial status, specifically examining the emphasis placed on the story and seeking to determine whether coverage was objective or biased. Early evening network newscasts (excluding weekends) for August 13 through August 22, 1984, were examined for stories relevant to the Ferraro financial turmoil, and then randomly assigned for coding. Results indicated that ABC, CBS, and NBC all emphasized the story by placement and amount of coverage. The Ferraro controversy ranked high in the 24 newscasts studied, with CBS running the story higher in the newscasts and running longer items about Ferraro than the other networks. However, results also indicated that ABC led in emphasis as measured by total number of Ferraro stories, percentage of news stories devoted to Ferraro, and amount of time and percentage of its news hole devoted to her. In fact, ABC devoted 56% more time to Ferraro than did any other network. Findings showed that although more than half of the relevant assertions were made by reporters without attribution of other sources, this did not reflect bias. Most of the reporter-as-source relevant assertions were neutral. Statistical analysis showed that CBS represented a perfect balance, while NBC and ABC were slightly biased in favor of the candidate. (Thirty-three footnotes and five tables of data are appended.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Role; News Bias; News Sources; Television Networks
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).