Narratives of a race: how the media judged a presidential debate

Nwokora, Zim and Brown, Lara M. 2017, Narratives of a race: how the media judged a presidential debate, American politics research, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 33-62, doi: 10.1177/1532673X15614891.

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Title Narratives of a race: how the media judged a presidential debate
Author(s) Nwokora, ZimORCID iD for Nwokora, Zim
Brown, Lara M.
Journal name American politics research
Volume number 45
Issue number 1
Start page 33
End page 62
Total pages 30
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-01
ISSN 1532-673X
Keyword(s) television debates
election campaigns
media bias
Summary The first debate in 2008 was a turning point in the presidential electioncampaign: a race that was close before the debate turned decisively inObama’s favor following it. This article explores how the media reachedtheir verdict that “Obama won.” We examine two aspects of this problem:how, in practice, the media reached this verdict and whether they madethe right decision from a normative standpoint. Based on content analysisof debate transcripts, we argue that the media interpreted the debate bysynthesizing three pre-debate narratives in roughly equal proportions.Crucially, two of these narratives favored Obama. We also find that the“Obama won” verdict was consistent with what we might expect had thedebate been judged by a public-spirited umpire.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1532673X15614891
Field of Research 160603 Comparative Government and Politics
1606 Political Science
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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