Election coverage on major political talk shows is driven by a similar set newsmaker types However, major TV shows have been covering these newsmakers in different amounts since May 1st.
Analysts, Commentators, Partisans and Former Politicans Have Most VoiceShare
As discussed in this 4thEstate post from July 11th, analysts, commentators, partisans and former politicians have been dominating coverage of the general election on TV. From June 10 – July 8, statements from those newsmakers accounted for 50% of the election coverage. In the above chart, we can see that among the major television talk shows, the same trend is reflected from May 1 – July 25. However, the amount of coverage each newsmaker type receives is different for MSNBC’s Hardball, FOX’s Special Report with Bret Baier, and CNN’s John King USA.
MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews covers analysts and commenters vastly more than the other shows. Almost half of the statements in election coverage on Hardball come from this newsmaker. CNN’s John King USA attributes almost one-third of their statements to partisans and former politicians, showing that they will more often have commentators that are outwardly affiliated with a political party such as current congress people and party representatives. FOX’s Special Report with Bret Baier has amplified the most statements from the candidates and their staff. The newsmaker types GOP Contender/Staff (red) and White House Official (yellow) represent Romney and Obama respectively. 35% of the statements in FOX’s Special Report with Bret Baier come from these newsmakers.