The University of Iowa University of Iowa

10/15: News Coverage of the 2012 Campaign


Listen to the show:


By KRUI Reporter Kuper Bergman

On Saturday October 15 the KRUI news staff sat down with University of Iowa Professor Jane Singer, an associate professor of journalism primarily focused on analyzing how the media focuses on political campaigns. Singer suggested that the news media while giving good coverage on particular issues in the campaign but not so much how they perceive candidates in the race themselves. Singer pointed out how the media tends to focus on the republican “flavor of the month” first Bachman, then Perry, and now Cain.

It became clear that there was a consensus among members of the table that there was this idea that the media has some sort of influence over what the important issues where and over which candidates were being touted as the most attractive. This with the focus on how the candidates are doing related to each other, a sort of horserace, perhaps hindered the ability of a regular viewer receiving the kind of in-depth issue coverage they once got in the past. Singer pointed out that it is much easier for news networks to hire pundits, or talking heads rather than to send reporters out on scene to cover other areas of the campaigning process.

When asked how important the Iowa news coverage has been at affected the national news Singer suggested that papers such as the Des Moines Register have had tremendous impact in what the other major US papers have been covering. When we got on the topic of how online media sources and social networking sites played a role Singer pointed out how the Republican candidates were trying to replicate President Obama’s success in the past using these outlets to motivate and to raise funds. All in all the roundtable was very enjoyable and informative and I hope that Professor Singer can join us again as she has a wealth of knowledge on these issues and very well formulated opinions.