Lear Center Local News Archive: Publications

October 2007 FCC Testimony: The FCC invited Lear Center director Martin Kaplan — along with his Local News Archives colleagues Kenneth Goldstein and Matthew Hale — to conduct peer reviews of two research studies that the FCC commissioned. Read the peer review of the study The Impact of Ownership Structure on Television Stations’ News And Public Affairs Programming and The Effect of Cross-Ownership on the Local Content and Political Sland of Local Television News. For the full set of FCC research studies and peer reviews of them click here.

Spring 2007 Stanford Law & Policy Vol. 18: “Does Local News Measure Up?” was published in Vol. 18 of the Stanford Law & Policy Review in Spring 2007. The authors of the report are Erica Franklin Fowler, Kenneth Goldstein, Matthew Hale and Martin Kaplan.

October 2006 FCC Testimony: Lear Center Director Martin Kaplan testified before FCC Commissioners at a public hearing on media ownership at the University of Southern California on October 3. The purpose of the hearing was to involve the public in the process of the 2006 Quadrennial Media Ownership Review. Listen to the Webcast. Read Commissioner Adelstein’s statement.

August 2006 FCC Testimony: Lear Center Director Martin Kaplan took part in a panel discussion about diversity in entertainment and cross-ownership rules at an FCC Media Ownership Hearing, August 31, at USC’s Davidson Conference Center. The forum was conducted by FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps and Congresswoman Hilda Solis.

Spanish Language TV Coverage of the 2004 Campaigns: This report contains the results of the mostextensive study ever conducted of English and Spanish language network and local news coverage over the course of a campaign. The study examined a total of 424 network news election stories and 2,724 local news election stories. Read the press release.

Final Report — Local TV Coverage of the 2004 Elections: This Final Report on local TV coverage summarizes findings from a study of 44 television stations in 11 markets during the 2004 general election campaign. Read the press release.

Interim Report — Local TV News Coverage of the 2004 Elections: This Interim Report summarizes initial findings from a study of 44 television stations in 11 markets during the 2004 general election campaign. The report finds that a viewer of local news would see less than three minutes of campaign coverage per half hour of evening news, on average, but just over four minutes of paid political advertising aired during the same half-hours. Read the press release.

2004 Letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell: Meredith McGee from the Alliance for Better Campaigns, Charles Benton from the Benton Foundation, Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center and the Lear Center’s Martin Kaplan delivered this open letter to Chairman Powell. The letter strongly urges the Commission to move forward on a rulemaking that would require broadcasters to maintain an archive of recently aired programming.

2004 FCC Testimony: Lear Center Director Martin Kaplan’s testimony was read before the Federal Communications Commission’s Localism Task Force on July 21, 2004, in Monterey. Watch the video. For more information about the hearing, visit the Task Force Web site.

Local TV News Coverage and the Public Interest Obligations of Broadcasters: On July 23, 2003, Lear Center director Martin Kaplan testified about the public interest obligations of local broadcasters before the Senate Commerce Committee.

Local TV Coverage of the 2002 Elections: This report includes the findings from our unprecedented nationwide exploration of how local television stations cover politics.

Local TV Coverage of the 2000 General Election: This report includes findings from a study conducted by Lear Center Campaign Media Monitoring Project, written by Martin Kaplan and Matthew Hale, and funded by the Ford Foundation.

Local Television Coverage of the 2000 Primary Campaign: This report includes findings from a study conducted by Lear Center Campaign Media Monitoring Project, written by Martin Kaplan and Matthew Hale, and funded by the Ford Foundation.

Television News Coverage of the 1998 California Gubernatorial Election: This project began in 1998 with research conducted by the Norman Lear Center, written by Martin Kaplan and Matthew Hale.

How to Improve Television Political Coverage: This book, published by the Lear Center’s Reliable Resources project, showcases award-winning television coverage of politics and offers fresh ideas on covering campaigns. To order free copies, email enter@usc.edu.

How to Improve Television Political Coverage (VHS): Produced by the Lear Center’s Reliable Resources project, this videotape has fresh ideas for covering politics in meaningful and engaging ways. Find out more.

PRESS RELEASES

Press release: “Sports & Weather, Crime, Fluff Dominate L.A. TV News; New Study Shows Local Government Coverage Suffers: Only 1.9% of News Hole; More L.A. Government News in L.A. Times, But Not Much More: 3.3%;  ? Los Angeles may be hemorrhaging red ink, but “if it bleeds it leads” doesn’t apply to news coverage of its fiscal woes.” March 11, 2010.

Press release: “Local TV News Ignores Local and State Campaigns: Presidential Race Sucks Up Most of the Media Oxygen; Coverage is Mainly Strategy and Horserace; Twice as Much Campaign Advertising as Campaign Journalism in Battleground States; More Sports and Weather, and More Crime, Than Election News,” October 21, 2004.

Press release: “Over Half of Local News Broadcasts Ignored 2002 Midterm Election Campaigns: Stations Air Nearly Four Times as Many Political Ads as Campaign Stories during Local News; Large media owned stations least likely to cover local campaigns, new study suggests; Online video archive of campaign news stories launches: The Lear Center Local News Archive,” July 23, 2003.

Press release: “USC Annenberg Announces 2003 Winners of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism,” March 17, 2003.

Press release: “Political Ads Dominate Local News Coverage: Stations Air Over Four Times as Many Political Ads as Campaign Stories; Devote Almost Twice as Much Time to Advertising as to News,” November 1, 2002.

Press release: “Local TV News Gives Cold Shoulder to Political Candidates: Campaign Stories Are Scarce, and Only a Fifth of Them Include Candidates Talking. When They Do Speak, Candidates Talk for 9.5 Seconds, On Average,” October 16, 2002.

Press release: “Local TV Stations Aired Less Than One Minute Per Night of Candidates Discussing Issues Before Election: Stations Committed to Public Interest Standard Aired Three Times As Much, USC Annenberg School/Norman Lear Center Study Says,” February 5, 2001.

Press release: “The Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg Presents ‘Democracy Row’ at Democratic National Convention,” August 9, 2000.

Press Release: “Most TV Stations Offer Only Seconds of Candidates Discussing Issues Before Elections: Broadcasters Fall Far Short of Public Interest Standard, USC Annenberg School Study Says,” June 13, 2000.