Where Parties Look for an Audience, and Where the Ad and Coverage Distribution has Gone
November 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
As the 2010 Midterm Elections are underway, the media coverage has taken a drastic change, possibly for the worst. In addition to the lack of coverage in some mediums, as other stories reach main headlines and front pages over the elections, the politicians themselves have been seen straying away from talking to the media, and looking towards other forms of media to reach their audience.
According to the Wesleyan Media Project- 2010 Political Advertising Analysis, the last few weeks provide confirmation the 2010 campaign was the most negative in recent history.
“In just the last few weeks a large uptick in negative ads has pushed this year from one that was no more negative than 2008 to the most negative campaign in recent history by both sides.”
In a comparable: “Looking at just the most recent weeks since September 1, the project finds that Republicans are attacking more than Democrats. Fifty-six percent of Republican-sponsored ads (including party, candidate and interest group ads) mention an opponent, compared to 49.9 percent of ads sponsored by Democrats and their allies. Both parties have increased their rate of attacks over 2008 levels. In the comparable 7-week time period in 2008, 49.3 percent of Republican ads attacked, and 42.5 percent of Democratic ads attacked.”
These negative ads are different compared to contrast ads, in that contrast ads mention both a favored candidate and his/her opponent, where the negative ads are ads attacking and bashing a candidate.
On the reverse side, besides the change in opponent strategies and organization, these candidates are finding other mediums to project their message through. No longer are all candidates in favor for media or discuss with the media their issues, they are finding other ways to provide their viewpoint.
According to Jeremy Peters of the New York Times, “This year will likely go down in the history books as the year of the angry voter. But 2010 will also be an election year notable for another kind of ire: when politicians let their contempt for the news media boil over.”
A large amount of candidates, especially republicans, are no longer willing to discuss matters with or even give reporters the time-of-day. Many have been caught getting “heated” with reporters, arguing, throwing hands, threatening and even shoving.
“News media experts say that an attack-the-press strategy can make sense as a pure political play. While polling has shown that majorities of Republicans and conservatives have long harbored suspicions about the news media, there has been a surge in negative feelings among Democrats and liberals.”
Many of whom believe it is about something larger: a mistrust of large institutions.
As parties are swaying away from talking to the media, ads have been most widely placed on the big screens. Constant commercial interruptions to portray candidates in unfavorably manner.
“Political spending on television advertising is set to hit $3 billion for this year’s Congressional elections, breaking all previous highs, and political ad buyers from both parties have expanded their ad placement to focus on voters watching prime time.”
So as the midterm elections commence, be sure to keep yourself informed and updated. Although there have been many other subjects of news that have made headlines such as the UPS bomb scares and the two week fox blackout, there is enough coverage in the papers and online to get you by. So go out and vote, and be sure to log into facebook and tell your friends you voted.
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