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WSU Newsline: Newspaper coverage of political campaigns still important
Friday, October 8, 2010 9:31 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or cell (316) 204-8266 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs.

If you have additional questions for Les Anderson after listening to the WSU Newsline, please call him at (316) 978-6065 or les.anderson@wichita.edu.

Background:
Whether it has positive or negative effects, exposure to the news media does influence public awareness of elections. Les Anderson, a print journalism professor at Wichita State University and a former newspaper editor, says newspapers play a vital role in informing the electorate.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: It seems that every month layoffs in newsrooms of some large paper are reportedly taking place in the United States. But newspapers still play an important role of informing the public during election campaigns, according to Les Anderson, a print journalism professor at Wichita State University and a former newspaper editor.

Anderson: "Newspapers, I believe, play an important function in elections because I consider newspapers credible. I think that people will tell you that newspaper readers are voters, and I think that's important, not only for the candidates, it's important also for readers."

Announcer: Anderson says newspaper coverage is important in political races and makes elections more vibrant. He says you end up not only with better input, but better candidates and more accountability to the public. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Anderson says newspapers play a vital role in informing the electorate. The sound bite is 24 seconds and the outcue is "and advertising."

Anderson: "Newspapers play a vital role, I think, in informing the electorate, people who are not only registered voters who've made up their minds, but undecided voters. And there's a variety of ways they reach these people. It's through stories. It's through Q and A's. It's through candidate forum type discussions, and also letters to the editor and advertising."

Sound bite #2
Anderson says it's difficult at times determining what is really news during election campaigns. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "in a lot of cases."

Anderson: "I think one of the biggest problems or biggest challenges newspapers face is determining what is really news, what's worthy of news coverage. And not everything that a candidate thinks is news is really newsworthy in a lot of cases."

Sound bite #3
Anderson says newspapers try to be fair and balanced. The sound bite is 21 seconds and the outcue is "even on the editorial pages."

Anderson: "Newspapers are inundated during political campaigns by letters to the editor. And a lot of newspapers have gotten to the point where they either select a representative sample of letters about a certain candidate or by a certain candidate's campaign folks. And, you know, the idea is to be fair and balanced, even on the editorial pages."

Sound bite #4
Anderson says newspapers are reliable and credible. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "in elections."

Anderson: "I think it comes down to the fact that newspapers are reliable. Newspapers are credible, and I think newspapers are where people go to find that information that they decide, and particular undecided voters, in elections."

Sound bite #5
Anderson says newspaper coverage is important in political races. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "more accountability to the public."

Anderson: "Not every candidate would agree probably, but newspaper coverage is important in political races. I think it makes elections more vibrant. It makes politics more vibrant and lively, and I think you end up with not only better input, but better candidates, more candidates and more accountability to the public."

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Contact: Les Anderson, (316) 978-6065 or les.anderson@wichita.edu.