We noticed today the latest Presidential campaign coverage study released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism here in the United States.
Not only did Senator Obama’s trip abroad dominate domestic political reporting during the past week, even the number of reports about press treatment of the Democratic Presidential contender exceeded the number of stories about Republican contender John McCain’s campaign.
Obama’s trip filled 51.2% of the campaign “newshole” in the major domestic media outlets. Press treatment of Obama filled 6.9%. Pure McCain coverage came in at just 3.6%.
The PEJ report notes that not all of the coverage of the Obama trip was flattering. But it went on to say:
“Whatever the tone of the coverage, Obama’s visit to the Middle East and Europe was an extraordinary media event.” And PEJ noted, “Barack Obama’s speech to a crowd of about 200,000 in Berlin provided a startling campaign visual to punctuate a week of remarkable media attention.”
But here is the important issue for non-Americans to keep in mind: warm receptions abroad don’t necessarily translate into votes at home.
Or as one prominent US broadcaster, Brian Williams, noted in his news program the same day as Obama’s Berlin speech: “If the election were held today, Barack Obama could sail to victory by a margin of 70 percent or more as President of Germany. Perhaps even all of Europe. The only problem is Senator Obama is running for President of the United States.”
We would encourage you to pay close attention to the campaign on our website’s special election page. And please note the VOA stories about race and its possible role in the 2008 election.
For the record, the Project on Excellence in Journalism weekly survey monitors 48 different news outlets each week from five different media sectors: newspapers, web sites, network television, cable television and radio --- all in the United States.