CSRI 2017: Understanding How the Media Covers Political Campaigns and Candidates

In the heart of Uptown Mount Vernon
you’ll find the town’s newspaper office. Professor Hans Hassell and senior Zach Stoll’s
Cornell Summer Research Institute project brought them here to talk with
Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun publisher Jake Krob about political news coverage. Is
the media covering the issues, or are they covering the horse race? The way that
campaigns send their messages out to media and the way the media report them
are not always the same and we’re trying to figure out why some of those
differences might be the case. The two are interviewing journalists from big
and small newspapers. Then we’re going to go take and do an experiment with
journals, so part of the process here is collecting the emails of every political
journalist in, that’s writing for newspapers in the United States. And
then what we’ll do is we’ll send out a survey to them so we will have now 2,000,
3,000 responses from journalists who are actually covering the news. The two will
publish research on whether there’s bias behind reporter’s stories and how
reporters determine what the story is. Potentially it could be used by
campaigns to help, help them get a clearer message across to the media
which is beneficial to them in the long run because it lets the voters
understand who they are. This has a huge implication for democracy, right.
Democracy is about, part of democracy is making sure the voters are informed. That
they’re able to, that candidates, the message that they want to communicate to
voters is the message that voters are able to receive, right. You need to have
that free flow of information. Hassell says Zach is getting first-hand
experience with real-world research. To see someone dive into a project and,
kind of recognize trends and patterns and be able to come up with
questions that they want to ask and have them develop a you know a hypothesis and
and a, um, come up, come to some conclusions using the data that’s, that’s
the most fun. They’re skills that will definitely help this aspiring political
journalist. And I think that this has been able to provide me with a lot of
good opportunities and connections that I could potentially
use in the future. This is just one of many research projects for CSRI. For
others, visit our website at CornellCollege.edu/research.

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