TV Still Dominates Campaign Coverage

We may have presidential debates broadcast on YouTube and presidential candidates who friend young people on MySpace, but a new survey shows that the Internet has still not overtaken the almighty television as most Americans’ primary source of campaign coverage. A study from the Pew Research Center shows that local TV news remains the most popular medium for tracking campaigns, with 40 percent of Americans turning to it, more than any other form of media.

The Web, has, however, made significant strides from its small role in earlier elections. This campaign year, 24 percent of Americans say they regularly learn something  about the campaign from the Internet, giving it more weight than TV news magazines, morning TV shows, or talk radio. Previous years’ surveys reveal that just nine percent of Americans gave the Internet the same credit in 2000.

Local TV news, despite retaining dominance in the 2008 election, shows slipping figures compared to years past. The medium has fallen eight percentage points from the 2000 elections, while other media including cable news networks, morning TV shows and national public radio have gained steam.

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