Raised “Volume” in 2008 Election

By SteveK 

Vicki Hyman writes in today’s Newark Star-Ledger about the amount of political coverage the cablers are giving this year. “This election season, it’s volume — as in the sheer breadth of coverage,” Hyman writes.

She reports the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) tabulated that 62 percent of airtime on cable news television between February 11 and 17 related to the 2008 election. The week before, during Super Tuesday, the number was 74%.

Also, this year Super Tuesday brought in significant viewership increases, as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC all reported triple-digit growth from 2004’s Super Tuesday coverage. And voluminous coverage has continued.

“Nobody got the memo that it was supposed to be over after Super Tuesday,” said CNN political director Sam Feist said in the article.

Hyman also focuses on the multitude of new technology being used for this election season, from CNN’s “Magic Wall” to FNC’s Election Link vehicles. Still, she quotes Tom Rosenstiel, director of the PEJ, to describe the real reason viewers make their choice for cable coverage. “For better or worse, people tend to be very responsive to the personalities who are on the screen a lot,” he says. “If you like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, you will probably be more inclined to watch that cable channel.”