Print Media: The Grand Rapids Press
The quantity of election 2004 coverage in the Grand Rapids Press was high this week due to the Democratic Party national convention and George Bush’s visit on Friday. The majority of the GR Press articles focused on the DNC. There were twenty two election stories total. As usual, the majority of the articles were from the AP but the GR Press also ran stories from the New York Times, Houston chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Newhouse news services.
Local TV News Coverage
The amount of TV news coverage pertaining to election 2004 was greater this week than any other week of the study period. This was due to the DNC and to Bush’s Friday visit. WZZM 13 ran a total of seventy-three minutes of election coverage for the week, WOOD 8 ran forty-seven, and WXMI 17 ran twenty minutes. Bush’s friday visit generated the most election coverage air time recorded in one day during this study. Although WZZM devoted the most air time to Bush’s visit on Friday, it’s coverage was the weakest in terms of content. Aside from providing a couple minutes of sound bites from Bush’s stump speech, WZZM 13 spent a fair amount of time with several irrelevant interviews, including a rather lengthy interview of the police chief, another with a local volunteer who got to greet the president, and a couple in the hospital who could see the police snipers from their window. All these interviews were given more air time on WZZM 13 than the hundreds of people that were protesting against President Bush outside.
Paid Political Ads
This week saw a decline in the number of paid political ads from the previous week. the Kerry campaign ran thirteen ads in this market while the Bush Campaign ran none.