Media matter: How newspapers and television news cover Campaigns and influence voters

James N. Druckman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


How do different media cover politics and affect voters? Are newspapers a boon and television a bane to democratic functioning? While these questions have long been the subject of debate, a variety of methodological hurdles have hampered prior attempts to document media differences and their effects. In this article, I discuss these challenges and offer an approach for overcoming them to the greatest extent possible. I then combine comprehensive media content analyses with an election day exit poll to assess campaign coverage and its effect on voters. I find that television news and newspapers differ substantially in the quantity of coverage but do not drastically differ in terms of content. More important, I find that newspapers, and not television news, play a significant, although potentially limited, role in informing the electorate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-481
Number of pages19
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Campaign coverage
  • Newspapers
  • Television
  • Voter learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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