Lear Center research reveals politics receives scant coverage on local TV

Local TV news broadcasts offered minimal coverage of politics in 2004, according to a new Lear Center report released on Tuesday, Feb. 15. In fact, local stations devoted 12 times as much coverage to sports and weather than they did to coverage of local elections. The report by the Lear Center Local News Archive was released at a news conference in Washington, DC with Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona). "Last summer, Senator McCain and FCC Chairman Michael Powell challenged Americas broadcasters to live up to the promise in their licenses to provide significant coverage of local races," says Martin Kaplan, USC Annenberg associate dean and director of the Norman Lear Center. "Based on our findings, it looks like that challenge pretty much fell on deaf ears. Coverage of local politics on local news is an endangered species."
Read the press release»
Read the report»
Read Kaplan's opening statement»