Sunday, September 30, 2012

Debate Preview? Maybe Not Yet...

By Matt Digby

Al Jazeera has its hands full trying to cover world news for a world audience, but it does realize the presidential election will impact the entire world, and has stepped up the election coverage.

However, reporters have not written any alternative stories as most U.S. networks are likely to do (what I call the "bio approach"). This would be writing stories about Paul Ryan's wife and family, or what Michelle Obama has been up to lately, as these people will become (or remain) household names throughout the world come January.

One of Al Jazeera's latest articles was the news that Obama has a critical lead in the Ohio polls. Many view Ohio as the state that decided the 2004 and 2008 elections, and once again all eyes are on the Buckeye State. Supporters of the President have reason to celebrate, but on the other hand, there's still over a month to go. And President Obama needs to be focused on Wednesday night's debate.

Speaking of the debate, I have not seen any preview articles yet from AJ. I'm not sure if it's planning a massive preview story that will be released on Tuesday, but I do think it would benefit the news organization to send a crew to Denver to cover the debate, and if it can stream it, that would be even better.

The U.S. soldier death toll in Afghanistan reached 2,000 this week. Photo courtesy AP.
I also give Al Jazeera credit for covering an issue that is just as important as the domestic economy; the fact that 2,000 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan. Wednesday night's debate will focus on domestic policy, so I don't expect this to be brought into play often, but this merits a lot of attention from both parties, especially if either candidates want to get an edge to start off October.

Do you think Al Jazeera will stream the first debate online? Will it send it's own panel of political commentators to Denver? Let me know what you think!

ABC Preps for Debates

Sara Nealeigh

This week, the ABC site and OTUS (Of The U.S.) is focusing on preparations for the upcoming presidential debate.

One article found on the website laid out in a question and answer format, some FAQs on how Mitt Romney will be preparing for this debate.

Another quotes President Obama as saying he wants to have a "serious discussion about what needs to happen to keep the country growing and restore security for hard working Americans."

Both men are, according to these articles, preparing in generally the same way; with panels of top advisors.

OTUS effectively evaluates their preparations, though giving more attention and reader-friendly style to the Romney-related stories.'s politics tab takes a look at the vice-presidental debates. A full story discusses Paul Ryan's preparation tactics for facing off with Joe Biden.

The previews for the debates are informative and easy to understand. ABC's online department did a nice job of combining different styles of stories and angles on preparation to keep readers interested.

A personal favorite of mine was the Q&A style story on ABC's politics page. It is easy to read, and doesn't complicate any of the answers. While the answers are swayed more than a bit in Mitt Romney's favor, the article is about the way he is preparing and his personal methods and accomplishments.

In comparison, the article that discusses President Obama's preparation focus's on a quote from the President describing himself as "just ok" at debating. Not only does this help paint a positive picture for Mitt Romney in the debate, but it makes the President look laid back and unprepared.

The article itself is from the AP wire, not even original ABC material, like the Q&A article. The last sentence briefly mentions the President's preparation plans. It also points out that President Obama called Mitt Romney a "good debater."

While the articles were informative, I found them to sway more heavily than usual toward Romney as the debates approach. Overall, I was satisfied and almost pleasantly surprised with the content for the preview of the debates from ABC and OTUS.

A Second Look at Fox News

Jillian Bloemer

After a few weeks of looking at other news sources, I felt it would be a beneficial idea to look back at one of the news outlets I previously analyzed to see if their sources and coverage has improved. My last look at Fox News was relatively bleak, as they were not focusing much on the election and the presidential.

Since my last look at Fox, the week of September 11, the coverage of presidential and vice presidential candidates has had a significant increase. I have found this week that there are more stories about Mitt Romney and his wife than there are about President Obama. Additionally there are no stories within the past two weeks about the First Lady.

Additionally, I found that the majority of the stories about candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, were generally positive. On the other hand, the stories that were related to President Obama did not seem to have a positive or negative tone to them.

One of the leading stories on the site was the feature about the Obama Campaign's redesign of the American Flag and a design of the country to look like an American flag, with the Obama campaign symbol as the stars. I feel it was a smart idea to have that as one of the top stories because it is interesting and something that will immediately grab the attention of the readers.

However, when clicking on the link, this story definitely had a negative tone to it. One person interviewed in the story said "This is so offensive. I don't know why I'm shocked, but I am. This stoops to new lows." While another wrote: "And just what was wrong with the flag with the stars and stripes? Why must Obama create his own flag?"

That question was also answered in the story where it is stated that the message behind the flags 'redesign' and design of the United States made to look like a flag was to show that "there are no red and blue states, just United States."

Read about it here.

Facebook Pages Gives Fans What They Want

Mike Bundt

I have shocking news for everyone following this year's presidential race. You're probably wondering; What is this shocking news? What is Mike talking about?

In reality, the news isn't shocking at all but instead information that everyone should know but rarely discusses.

When political candidates use facebook, it is only used to stimulate what their supporters like and give them what they want to hear.  Candidates don't reveal anything huge or revolutionary on Facebook.

I would question who actually runs each candidate's Facebook page and how much interaction they have with it at all.

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing that both candidates give their supporters what they want but I will say that it dramatically lowers the amount of worth these pages have from a news angle.

When catering to only your supporters, there is an incredible amount of bias, propaganda, attacks on opposing candidates, and self-promotion.

That's all great to hear if you're a supporter of that particular candidate but if not, it doesn't really provide any reasons why your candidate sticks out above an opponent.

For example, right now, Republican candidate Mitt Romney's Facebook page is on a campaign to get eight million likes.

That's great that his Facebook account is trying to promote his page but is virtually meaningless when it comes to the election.

I guess what I'm trying to say when you get down to the nitty gritty is that I think each candidate's Facebook pages are pretty useless from a news perspective or if you already know who you're going to vote for.

People that like each candidate's pages aren't people that are undecided and trying to decide which is the better choice.

It's people that already know who they want and blindly use each candidates propaganda to support their choice.

I think having Facebook pages are good for things such as self-promotion and agree with all of the ways each candidate is using theirs.

I just don't value their pages much from a factual and high importance level.

In today's world, candidates need social media to interact with people and to show they care BUT when people take their pages too seriously, I think theirs a problem.

When someone is trying to get to a certain amount of likes, it's almost as though they're trying to boost their celebrity or image by saying a certain amount of people support them.

While this might be the new thing in politics, I think it'll need to change if it wants to have significant importance beyond the delusional supporters who take everything as fact without questions.

President Obama's facebook page trying to get more donations for his campaign


Sandhya Kambhampati

 With 37 days left until the election and 3 days until the debates, tweeters and political reporters are letting, as @jimacostacnn tweeted at the beginning of the week,"the debate expectation games begin."

Tweeters and reporters from all different media outlets are focusing on who is going to win this presidential debate. 

 @CNN  tweeted about what Romney needs to do change the race. Mentions of the article, such as the one below, show that tweeters are a bit annoyed and disturbed by how media outlets are stating what they believe will help the candidates win. 

In the past, the debates were not the most exciting thing to watch on TV.  It's only been the last few debates that have really been popular. So how will this debate be different? 


Both campaigns are using it to raise awareness of some of the issues they will be discussing during the debates.  News outlets are not only analyzing how each of the candidates can win the debates, but are also turning to Twitter to ask tweeters what they would ask the candidates, like the tweet from @meetthepress below. 

While some may say that the #debateexpectations are lower, to me, it seems as if they are higher.

Because of Twitter, word of what each of the candidates are saying can be spread faster, creating conversation, generating more viewers and therefore, start another debate.

Looking at the tweets below, you can see a trend of how many of the tweets are about Governor Mitt Romney  and how he can turn the debates around to make himself stand out more in the eyes of the voters. 

It's surprising how much less coverage President Barack Obama got about what he can do in the debates to win. 

These #debates2012 are going to be a different kind of debates that will spark the attention of the Twitter users. 

Because of the many live streams online, I'm interested to see how the debates will turn out and how Mr. Obama and Governor Romney will be using their own social media outlets to tweet during the debates.

Personally, I think the expectations will become higher as we get closer to the debates and more criticism of each of the candidates will appear.  

What do you think? Are you watching the presidential debates? Follow @sandhya__k  during the debates for full coverage & my analysis. 

Nightly News... Let's Play The Social Media Game!

Carolyn Menyes

Over the past month or so, I've established that I find NBC Nightly News to be a good, comprehensive news source, albeit a little outdated in concept. And, it's still successful. According to The Washington Post/Nielsen, Brian Williams' show is the most watched of the three major networks, with 7.8 million viewers last week.

My curiosity for this week, however, is how NBC Nightly News and other NBC affiliates have moved into the 21st century with social media.

First, I looked at the Twitter feed for ol' blue eyes himself, Brian Williams.

And... uh...

It's verified! It has a profile picture! It has a custom background... And it's totally unused. For an anchor on the No. 1 nightly news show, you think NBC would make BriWi tweet a little bit to engage the audience and pull in a younger demographic.

But, alright, that's fine. Not everyone has to be on Twitter.

So, I decided to take a look at the show's page. I particularly was interested in seeing supplementary material, perhaps an online component to the broadcast stories. Of course, since politics and the election are the focus of this course and this blog, I wanted to get a sampling of how Nightly News dealt with the election there.

The answer was... not much. Since NBC Nightly News is a half-hour, nightly broadcast, it covers a wide variety of things that are reflected in the tweets. For the last week, actually, there were two tweets about President Obama and his addresses to the U.N. and one tweet about how Mitt Romney and President Obama were preparing for the upcoming debates.

For your political Twitter coverage from the Peacock, you have to follow @NBCPolitics. Though this is not specifically a Nightly News twitter, I found this feed had a good amount of stories and links to stories, most of which were focused on the election.

 So, NBC Nightly News does not make a good use of their social media, which I feel like reflects their older demographic. However, I know people my age like Brian Williams, respect him and find him engaging, relatable and handsome. I think Nightly News could grab this audience by using Twitter and other social media sites.

Slow News Week Solution: Look Forward, Analyze Data

Devin Bartolotta

In my eyes, this seemed to be a pretty uneventful week in the world of the presidential race. But in the true spirit of media during election season, FOX News really, really tried to make news where there was none. So I decided to look at a different part of the FOX election site, the Candidate Tracker.

The Candidate Tracker tracks the appearances of each candidate's party throughout the United States. Zooming out, it was difficult to see exactly where the priorities of each party lay.

But zooming in, it was much more obvious that candidates are definitely paying more attention to swing states. An extremely high concentration of political appearances in states like Colorado, Ohio and Virginia showed that republicans and democrats alike are paying attention to these states that could potentially determine the election. FOX also has a detail featuring the amount of funding each party has spent in each battleground state.

In Ohio alone, the Obama campaign has spent $1,698,485 and the Romney campaign $3,152, 149. With a total of nearly 5 million dollars spent to win Ohio votes alone, it's no wonder that every time we open our mailboxes, we are infiltrated with mail about who to vote for and why.

It seems to me that FOX news is making a large effort to cover the election in an un-biased manner this way. The numbers don't lie, and these simple resources are giving voters a great opportunity to check up on their candidates before they cast their vote in November.

FOX is definitely looking forward toward the debates, however. Because of some recent gaffes in the Romney campaign, FOX news is definitely looking toward the impending debates to make up voters' minds.

In this article regarding Paul Ryan's opinion on the debates, FOX news reminds readers that the race isn't yet over and refuses to declare a winner before the race.

While many news outlets have seemingly already declared Obama a winner in the race, FOX news has yet to do that. It's giving each an equal chance and taking the time to remind readers that there is still quite some time before election day. 

MSNBC-TV - Rachel Maddow Unleashed Ultimate Fact Check

By: Robert Schreier

NBC's sister television station MSNBC caught my attention this week via an in-depth report by Rachel Maddow, a left leaning news talk personality and host of the Rachel Maddow Show.

With the barrage of campaign ads scattered across all forms of media, Maddow capitalized on proximity of the 2012 Presidential Election to examine the content of the messages out of Govenor Mitt Romney's camp (indeed examining what both President Barak Obama and Romney "approve" at the conclusion of each gashing ad).

The video (below) is damning evidence of a persistent pattern of lies and miscontextualization on the half of the Republican presidential hopeful.

While this complete blitz, that encompassed a full 10 minutes to fully articulate, could be seen as a liberal personality on a liberal leaning television station simply shooting par on a midweek program, this is evidence that has not been featured on NBC programs before and should be credited.

These investigative elements are missing when many undecided voters are making their voting decisions with the clock ticking to the general election.

It also ushers in questions of the political press being marginalized by social media outlets.

Digging Deep (Through Packing Peanuts)

Maddow begins with the blanketing story of Romney saying that his campaign removes and changes all incorrect facts or statements with the utmost transparency.

The MSNBC host continues by detailing that this is a normal action by the campaign; however, Maddow uses multiple example of specific facts that are false in Romney ad campaigns or speeches.

It all starts with a misapplication of a quote used by Obama saying that, "If we keeping talking about the economy, we are going to lose."

Obama did say that, but if you listen to the full quotation, the President was talking in terms of the John McCain presidential race in 2008.

What's more troubling is the fact that the video in question is still unedited and included on the official Mitt Romney YouTube channel, regarded as one of the most viewed mediums in this 2012 political season.

By the end, she highlights over 10 examples of misquotes, wrong facts, and other blunders.

In reality, there is not much digging to do on the part of Maddow because the Romney party has not done its part in removing these videos, even after Maddow has slashed the party days later. (It should be noted the investigative report ran on Wednesday September 26 with the YouTube search completed for this report coming Sunday September 30).

After every example of the misrepresentation, there are several press clippings showing the media calling out Romney's party on his facts.

However, nothing has been done to remove or correct. Why?

No Bite in the Media Dog?

Normally, there is an element of respect, or reaction, when the press detects falsehood and lies with political.

In other words, there is usually a noticeable action in order to appease the press or to limit the damage from the viewing audience

What Maddow points out reflects a dynamic change in a fundamental role in journalism: the watchdog.

Either the Republican campaign is lazy (unlikely), unmotivated (unlikely), or untrained (unlikely) to make the corrections in the videos.

Or, what could be considered the beginning of the end for watchdog journalism, Romeny and his crew no longer care about the press calling him out.

It begs the question, is there research or facts to back up that the new voting community no longer trusts or relies upon the press so that whatever is posted on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or the newest social media application is THE TRUTH?

While this certainly was not the intention of Maddow's report, the debate now begins whether there is a clear dismissal of one of the pillars that has held journalism upright from the beginning of the craft.

Debunking the Debates -- How CNN creates buzz where there wasn't

Keara Vickers

In all of the coverage in the lead-up to the first presidential debate, the media has ignored one very important fact -- debates are usually incredibly boring.

The truth of the matter is that on October 3rd, two professional politicians will go head-to-head on pre-screened prompts, trading rehearsed barbs and parrying with so-off-the-cuff-they’re-practied jokes. Tense? Not quite.

From CNN Election Center
That isn’t evident if you’re looking at CNN’s pre-debate coverage, though. There’s been a slow ramp-up that is reaching a fever pitch in these few short days before the 3rd.

Even Mitt Romney’s staff is trying to pull down the expectations for Wednesday’s showdown in a campaign memo released last Thursday. The memo doesn’t try to sugar coat Romney’s inexperience in presidential debates and his lackluster abilities in firing up a crowd. CNN passed up the opportunity to take the memo and run with it, but instead chose to merely call out the highlights and pass over. 

It isn’t a secret that President Obama is one of the most gifted speakers to occupy the Oval Office and Romney’s campaign knows it's coming in at a disadvantage. The media pressure has turned the debates into “make it or break it” events -- and with Romney’s track record of gaffs, you can imagine his handlers are biting their nails already. 

If I were at all a strategic communicator, I would assume this memo was expected to grab media attention and turn the conversation toward the events to be discussed and away from President Obama’s verbal firepower. CNN didn’t play the game.

From CNN
In non-debate news, I spent a truly astounding amount of time procrastinating by playing out extensive election-night scenarios on CNN’s interactive electoral map. If you ever doubted the power of the tiniest swing states, this little map will completely change your view. 

To summarize though, the real point of a televised presidential debate is to make somebody look foolish without losing too much ground yourself. 

Barring any October surprises, the combination of hype and public relations wrangling will most likely leave viewers with a debate lacking in oomph. I’ll suggest getting your violent political fix with some of this footage from a fight on the floor the 2008 Ukrainian parliament. Now those are debates with some punch.

All Eyes on Colorado (and Ohio?): NPR's Pre-debate News Coverage

Seaira Christian-Daniels

NPR News
Shifting away from the fluffy election stories from last week, NPR news focused its headlines to the upcoming debates in Colorado this week.

The University of Denver, NPR says, will be the scene of one of the most important stylistic events  in which either of the candidates will be a participant on Wednesday.

Colorado’s voters vary as much as its climate, and Romney and President Obama have been targeting their winnable voters and adding their last bits of information before early voting on the October 22.


An important indicator of who will be most prepared for the debates this Wednesday will be the candidate whose stand-in debater is the most knowledgeable, says NPR’s staff.  NPR featured a story on a former George W. Bush debate stand-in Paul Begala, whose wife, he said, hated turning on the radio for fear of hearing Al Gore’s speeches. The stand-ins must literally, as he says, become like the opposition in speech pattern and political views.
Though all eyes are on the Presidential debates in Colorado, both candidates still have messages for Ohio in their back pockets.

One third of NPR’s top 9 stories about the Presidential race concern Ohio.

The Oracle in Ohio
Obama’s campaign stop in Bowling Green, Ohio, isn’t a surprise considering it sits in the same county that has almost flawlessly coincided the outcome of the Presidential election for the past 50 years, Wood County.

Wood county’s voters are a-typical, though and range from a Latino salsa maker who has pledged to vote for Romney, to a coal worker who says Obama needs another chance.

According to, the goal of each presidential candidate is to get the “last word” that resonates in Ohio’s rural voters’ minds.

From campaign ads to commentary on China, Ohio’s prized electoral votes have made the state a constant presence in NPR’s top stories this week.

Ohio has received one-sixth of the YouTube campaign ads and both candidates appealed to Ohioans that his policy on China is what is best for this country.

Ohio early voting begins October 2.

App Issues can Create Barriers

Amanda Walters

Getting content on-the-go is now standard. As a news consumer, as well as journalist, I want my information to be fast and accurate – but even more than that – I want to be able to get it no matter where I am.

And I know that I’m not the only one. Smartphones make all of this as easy as can be with the invention of apps. That is, when they work correctly.

The CBS News app on the iTunes market has some definite glitches and bad marketing choices that get in the way of all the great journalism that is contained inside.

The first thing you notice when you open the app is that you don’t get to use it right off the bat. When you first open it, the app opens up a commercial that while you are able to close out of, seems really misplaced.

Other news apps have found ways of embedding the commercials and ads into the stories. Having it open up right at the beginning, can be annoying and could turn some users away before they even start to use the app.

Once you open stories, the page glitches every time it goes to a story. The screen flashes and it doesn’t want to open for a second. This should be easy for the programmers to fix but by looking at some of the reviews from the iTunes Store, it seems like it’s been going on for a while.

Once you get past these things, the app is great. It has a good variety of content and a useful interface. If CBS fixes these bugs, it will be one of the best news apps I own.

One of my favorite articles I read this week from the app was Meeting Ohio Republicans who Doubt Romney. It was a great article for an app as it was short and the information was on point.

The article talked to voters in Ohio who weren’t sure if they wanted to vote for Mitt Romney or not. It talked to people who were moderate Republicans and wished that Romney were closer to the center.

The one thing I was disappointed in was that when I went to the website to look at the article, they included a video that couldn’t be seen from the app.

It is one of those articles that you can read quickly while waiting for class to start and still be more informed after. And really, that’s all that matters. Will Online Readers Pay for Political Coverage?

Kaitlyn Crist

Woes of a Broke College Kid

When I was assigned for blog coverage, I was initially concerned.

"Don't you have to pay to view their website?" I inquired  I was reassured by my classmates that it was just the archives I would have to pay to view, and the fresh coverage should be all mine to critique.

I was sadly misinformed  Up until last week, all was dandy, until I tried to share with the readers an article detailing the "47%," and was promptly halted.

I was told I had used all ten of my reads for the month and would have to purchase a subscription to read any more.

The notification readers receive after they have passed the then article limit
 Because I am a journalist, and I read more than ten news articles on a daily basis, I figured I would dig deeper to see the cost of full NYT content. 

On the website's subscription page I found that I could pay only 99 cents a week for any of the digital subscriptions for four weeks. Not a bad deal. This included the mega-subscription with smart phone and tablet app access.

It was when I clicked the details, though, that the joy was short lived (about four weeks to be exact).

After that, the "super-subscription" cost users $8.75 a week. The basic subscription (online and smart-phone content) was about $3.75 a week.

I know, I spend more than $8.75 a week on coffee and chicken nuggets, but it was the principle. It just sounded like too much to me.

There were limitations on the subscriptions too. You could only look at 100 archived articles a month even with the subscription. I know, that seems like a lot, but once again, principle.

The good news is, you can share your subscription with one family member. My 12-year-old sister is going to be absolutely thrilled about her Christmas gift this year!

The Starving Journalist 

The details page for the "All-Digital Access" subscription
I understand NYT, I really do. The advent of the internet has caused a surge in "free" coverage, and it is getting harder and harder to make good money in the industry.

As a underpaid (never-paid?) blossoming journalist myself, I can understand how frustrating it can be. But, so is the way of the future, and isn't it about time we embrace it?

NYT has ads on their page, so you know they are getting revenue in from other sources, yet they are still insisting you pay the price of one Happy Meal a week to view their basic content (like I said, I eat a lot of chicken nuggets).

With aggregate sites like The Huffington Post  and Twitter providing fresh, free content from several media sites as competition, wouldn't New York Times want to increase their foot traffic instead of turning them away for reading too much?

I say it's time to go the way of the world (no matter how hard we try).

Yes, people will still pay to have your Sunday edition delivered to their iPad in a click, but I think asking to pay for the online stories is turing off readers (especially the coveted younger demographic who grew up with the internet).

Instead, lets drive people to your site more. Let them view as much content as they please, with a few ads scrolling to the side. This will increase your foot traffic, thus increasing your ad revenue.

I actually think the NYT has some of the most insightful, well-thought stories on the internet, and in their paper.

 So, lets get a whole new generation to enjoy what our parents have for years.

I want to see NYT succeed, and for that to happen, I actually think asking for money may be hurting more than helping.

But what do I know, I'm just a millennial who wants good, free, news content online. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Daily Show: Romney's 47%

Leah Petrovich

Romney's "47 percent" video not only made headlines in the news but was also prevalent topic on our class this past week. Many reports that came after the video leaked tried to fact check Romney's assumption about the "47 percent." Here is what an article from CBS News reported:

The Daily Show had no problem finding its lead material for the September 18th show. This video is called, "The Millionaire Gaffemaker." Stewart laughs at the fact that Romney's campaign had to launch a new strategy/reintroduce himself three weeks after the Republican National Convention. The convention was supposed to be a time for Romney to gain a large amount of face time with the media, and now the campaign has already needed to reboot AND switch to damage-control mode.
Stewart calls him "Romney 9.0."

I think it's going to be a difficult final month for Mitt Romney. Polls are being taken left and right. I'm interested to see the debate and how Mitt will respond to his list of gaffes.

Here's another video clip from the September 18th show. Stewart says, "Mitt Romney's words say, "No big deal, I want to help all Americans", but his eyes and body language say, "Holy shit, we're all going to die!" Mitt Romney is having a hard time explaining how he completely disregarded 47 percent of Americans.

Stewart takes the audience through a little visual: He's a captain on a North Atlantic cruise line and casually addresses the ship that there was an ice berg that "attracted some attention." He acts calm as he tells the passengers not to worry, yet he is slowly blowing up his own life jacket.

This is a very on point comparison. It seems as if Mitt Romney's likability is slowing going under just like the Titanic.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Everything but Election News...

Jillian Bloemer

This week I chose to focus on the NBC News Facebook page. To say I was disappointed in election coverage would be an understatement. NBC never had a shortage for stories, but in the past week, there was a shortage for election news.

Within the past week, stories ranged from the ruling on Kate's topless photo scandal, to news about Libya, to the space shuttle Endeavor's final flight into retirement, to news about a crew of researchers catching and tagging a 15-foot, 2,292 pound great white shark of the coast of Massachusetts.

Out of the many news stories that NBC posted within the last seven days, only five of the stories mentioned the presidential candidates. 

Another thing that shocked me was that the Facebook page did not mention the 47% video once. For other news sources, this video was a huge source of controversy and took up large portions of their news shows. Although I did not watch NBC News this week, a friend of mine said they at least mentioned it on their news broadcast. However, I did not see it mentioned once on their Facebook page.

Watch the controversial video HERE.

Monday, September 24, 2012 - Political Powerpoints Reveal Power in Republican Camp

By Robert Schreier

Much of the class discussion last week surrounded covering the issues versus the "horse race" between the candidates in the 2012 Presidential Election.

What was not included in this debate was feature or "in-depth" pieces that allow the audience to go behind the curtain or to raise the level of interest in niche elements in the election season. allowed its online readers to go inside the mind of Republican Vice President candidate Paul Ryan's presentation style, opening up discussion for its impact in other aspects of the race and the inter-workings his camp.

Slide Man

The article details that Ryan turned back to old practices of using a PowerPoint presentation during his speeches to better communicate with his audiences.

The Wisconsin congressman used four slides to visually aid his speech to a crowd at the University of Central Florida Friday to help demonstrate the problems with the nation’s debt and how spending has changed under President Barack Obama.

Evidence from earlier news reports confirm that Ryan has used the Microsoft Office application before to help aid his points for a controversial budget overhaul plan that has been largely criticized in his home state of Wisconsin.

NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams featured a report on his radical economic plans back in April of 2011. Please see the embedded video for the full report from April 26, 2011 on the NBC news program.

Behind the Curtain

Reports surfaced Friday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney camp discouraged Ryan to ditch his trademark visual aid during presentations and "town hall" meetings. 

Reports say Mitt is orchestrating Ryan's campaign trail
messages (Courtesy: AP Photo) 
This is an effort in part to have Ryan serve as a "mini Mitt" as the election day draws near so that more of the voters can get a better sense of what the presidential hopeful's policies will represent.

In fact, this includes more public appearances and a shifting of presentation style to reflect Romney's talking points that are far different than what is in Ryan's wheel house: this new budget plan.


It is indeed a small change, but NBC does highlight a concern by the Republican party that the time to strike is now in delivering policy and presidential promises rather than continue to hammer home a budget plan that has drawn heavy criticism from both sides of isle.

NBC must be commended in their coverage to highlight this small detail of the campaign trail in its surfacing of the Romney/Ryan campaign anxiousness to swing the popular vote in a "dead heat" race with 5 weeks remaining.

While this story will not be talked about at the water cooler Monday morning, or will it be featured on the Daily Show, but is does illustrate the backstage activities in the Romney/Ryan push for November.

Kudos to NBC in their coverage of this story as voter begin to realize the clock is ticking for their decision on the next President of the United States.

We now know that Ryan has put away his PowerPoint clicker and brought out heavy hitting policy points.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Video Content Spices Up Coverage

Sara Nealeigh

Once again, Mitt Romney and his campaign are the main focus of the ABC Politics News page.

The banner of written stories on the Politics page all talk about Romney or his running partner, Paul Ryan. The titles that appear seem to shine a positive light, “Ryan Woos…” “Paid More than Required,” are countered by the question “Will Mitt Romney Get the Campaign Reset…?” 

ABC News - Politics 

While a majority of the site deals with the “horse race” aspect of the upcoming election, there are still pieces of good investigative journalism.

Take, for example, this video from Brian Ross on how people are being scammed by donating to fake political party websites.

As a broadcast major, I have to wonder why the videos aren't in prominent view on the site.

The remainder of the site conisists of what has become the usual sight for ABC’s Politics page. There are the infographics, pop-culture connections, approval ratings, and some horse-race style articles.

The OTUS page, for a “lighter” take on news, shows comedian Sarah Silverman as their cover photo. Silverman is featured with a link her video discussing Voter ID laws (a link is provided instead of imbedding the video due to strong language).

The strongest content of the ABC Politics and the OTUS sites are the videos. The articles are okay, but feel much more weighted than the video content.

The videos are giving usefully information in a clean and efficient fashion, even with the advertisements. Once the content starts coming, it brings a new angle on issues that other articles may miss.

ABC’s reports have done a good job of finding angles to work with and presenting the information in a new way, as well as adding more details.

If ABC were to attach the videos to written articles, the site would be much more organized and they would more than likely get more hits on their content. The additional and better information coming from the video would really add to the monotonous droning of constantly updated horse race articles. 

Twitter Race: Which Candidate (or Bashing) Will Win?

Sandhya Kambhampati

With the release of  Mitt Romney’s hidden camera video,  reporters and news outlets took to Twitter for their newscasts and coverage of the leak.

Here’s the video in case you missed it:

Source: Mother Jones 

Here are some tweets from that day:
Source: Twitter 
It's interesting to note that outlets such as Nightline use the words "political firestorm" to catch tweeters' attention, whereas reporters such as @BuzzFeedAndrew are focused on quoting the video, prompting people to speak up.

While the video bashing began to explode on Twitter, @washingtonpost  tweeted that President Obama was ahead of Romney in the swing states.

Now, it's not just a political race, but a competition for the news outlets to see who gets the news first and who can properly provide the public with access to both candidates.

During this time, there were very few tweets about President Obama.

It almost seemed as if this video made Romney the face of politics on Twitter this week.

Here are some more tweets from later on in the week: 

Source: Twitter 

While it may be important to focus on Romney and his hidden camera video, I think President Obama also needed to be given some attention.  

For one thing, he's still in office and what he's doing right now is extremely important to the election.

While Romney should feel embarrassed of what he said, constant referrals to Romney on Twitter drove his social media appearance up. 

This prompted people to disagree with his video and some to agree, making Romney's slip-up a main focus and an interesting factor to come into play before the debates. 

This brings out the super loyal Republicans and Democrats.

And so, the Twitter battle begins. 
Source: @samsteinhp

It's also interesting that Sunday, September 23rd,  both candidates appeared on 60 Minutes--head to head in competition.

Here's a look at some of the live tweets that were happening during the show.

What do you think of this Twitter coverage this #election2012 ? Tweet @sandhya__k