Leading with Bleeding (Don't Mind the Elections)

A study analyzing 4,000 local newscasts in 11 major markets found that, "in the month leading up to last year's presidential election, local television stations in big cities devoted eight times as much air time to car crashes and other accidents than to campaigns for the House of Representatives, state senate, city hall and other local offices." Eight percent of news shows reported on local races, while more than half reported on the presidential race. Such local / national disparities are fueling "the debate over how many television stations a company may own." One type of airtime did focus on local races: "Advertising by House candidates eclipsed actual coverage of those races by a ratio of 5 to 1."