McCain and Obama Face-off!

Hello all!  This is my first graded blog post in my Journalism 201 class.  My blog guidelines this week are to watch, read, or monitor a cable news station, newspaper, or radio show for at least an hour a day for three days.  We were given a broad range of choices for monitoring the media, and I decided to watch Political Podcasts on CNN.com.  Because the presidential election is rapidly growing closer, it is not hard to come across some type of political media coverage.  It seems to be every where we look!  I watched CNN’s political podcasts for an hour a day for three days.  I watched an hour of the podcasts on Saturday, October 11th, Sunday, October 12th, and Monday, October 13th.  Based on Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman’s book “The Press Effect”, I concluded that the media, in my case CNN, used different types of press.  Some types were more prominent than others and that is what I am here to discuss.

First off, I’d like to begin by acknowledging the job that CNN did on their political coverage.  I believe that CNN did an adequate job covering the presidential election and the issues that often rise with the election.  They seemed to give a fair input of both sides of the presidential election.  They never once led in favor of one side.  I believe it is extremely important for a news coverage team to stay neutral.  The job of news reporters is to give facts of the race, not to try and lead the viewers toward one side of the other.  

After watching the podcasts I noticed that the press of CNN often used “press as a custodian of fact”.  This is a somewhat obvious press style one would expect to be part of the media coverage.  In one of the podcasts, the press debated about the fact regarding who is currently leading the election race.  In the podcasts, they stated that different polls said different things about who was actually in the lead.  Some polls stated that Obama was in the lead, while others said that the two presidential candidates were tied.  The facts of the polls are uncertain; therefore, “press as a custodian of fact” was part of CNN’s media coverage.  

“Press as a custodian of fact” was not the only method of press used in CNN’s media coverage.  They also used “press as a soothsayer”.  This was prevalent because the press often tried to predict the outcome of some of the current issues.  The press showed the presidential candidates debating on what will happen in the future if one or the other were to be elected.  Some of the larger issues brought up were regarding the housing market and job opportunity.  Obama promises that, “thousands of new green jobs will become available if elected”.  McCain states that Obama lies about these remarks.  McCain believes that Obama cares more about Wall Street than he does about the citizens of the United States.  

The most prevalent of press styles was definitely “press as a custodian of fact”.  The entire political coverage of the election deals around the facts.  Although the facts are debatable, and not always agreeable, the election is based on facts.  I thought that this would be the most common press style even before I began this blog assignment.  Thus, I am not surprised it was the most common.

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