Determinants of national media attention

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Abstract

This study employed two perspectives to investigate media attention given women congressional candidates. The first perspective is that media attention may be explained by typical and normal media processes, such as focusing on incumbents. The second perspective considers a partisan explanation in which media attention is weighted more to Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. This study employs two established sources, Vanderbilt's Television News Index and Abstract and Information Access's National Newspaper Index, to examine the national media attention of Democratic and Republican women congressional candidates in 1990 and 1992. The investigation determined that media attention is related to whether the candidates are running for the Senate or House, incumbency, and state population. The results also reveal that party is a statistically significant factor associated with media attention. The investigation also determined that ethnic candidates tend to receive slightly less attention from the print media than nonethnic candidates.

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