Broadcast Media Has Trouble Analyzing Presidential Debate For Voters

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As far as the broadcast media was concerned, the presidential debates may have had low entertainment value, according to an article in the latest in of the magazine News Informant. Still, the debate was informative to voters on a variety of security and economic issues. Both candidates finished strong in the third, and final, debate. The debate showed philosophical difference over issues such as foreign policy, affirmative action and education but less so on softer issues, such as faith. The third debate will allow voters to decide between the candidates, despite the fact that the media has been slow has had difficulty helping people understand the substantive differences.

An article entitled “Third Presidential Debate Substantive, If Not Exactly Entertaining” in the October 18, 2004 issue of the weekly web magazine News Informant details the differences between the two 2004 presidential candidates, Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger, Sen. John F. Kerry, as expressed in the third presidential debate last Wednesday, October 13. The article explains that both candidates carefully outlined their positions on a broad range of issues. These included foreign policy, immigration, social security, education, affirmative action, the economy and taxation. The result were not “gaffes” or “knockout punches” that the media believes make good entertainment. But the issue differences, if properly explained, allow the voters to make informed a decision.

“The broadcast media had grudgingly come to the understanding that the debates would not be great drama,” according to News Informant editor, Bernard Perlstein. “Yet they still spent more time trying to ask, after the last debate, ‘who won?’ rather than flesh out the stated differences of the two candidates,” he added.

The News Informant article, instead, analyzes the contrasting positions of the two candidates over the spectrum of issues. The article clarifies, in particular, the problems with the two candidates’ proposals for maintaining the current level of social security benefits, and takes much of the media to task for failing to evaluate the President’s same proposal when he was a candidate in 2000.

“The media provided ‘fact checkers’ to dispel individual incorrect facts mentioned by either candidate during the debate,” commented Perlstein. “But there was no discussion of the ramifications of stated policies for the benefit of the average voter, who has little time to spend in thinking through these issues. That’s a shame,” according to Perlstein.

The News Informant article in its entirety, and its sources, can be found on the web at: A free registration is required to view the article.

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About News Informant:

News Informant, a publication of News Informant Inc., is a weekly electronic magazine focusing on news analysis of important domestic and global issues that are not sufficiently covered by the U.S. media. The magazine uses respected worldwide online source material to render original information and perspectives. The periodical follows the slogan, “It’s Not Just the News – It’s What’s Behind the News.”

News Informant, founded in 2003, was the brainchild of Bernard Perlstein, who believed that broadcast and electronic journalism too often focused on the excitement of immediate events, to the detriment of analysis of causes and possible solutions.

The magazine is the premier electronic source for news analysis on issues significant to U.S. residents. Making use of features that can only efficiently be provided through the Internet, the magazine, in addition to articles, provides immediate links to additional sources of information concerning the topic at hand.

About Bernard Perlstein:

Bernard Perlstein, founder and editor of News Informant, as well as regular contributor, has had a life-long interest in what is known in the social sciences as “political economy.” Mr. Perlstein established this magazine in order to provide, “the depth of coverage of the vital political, economic and social issues, in a concise format geared for the information age.” His specialties are in Politics, Economics and Foreign Relations. Mr. Perlstein majored in Government and minored in Economics at Oberlin College. He earned his BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from De Paul University.

For additional information on News Informant or Mr. Perlstein, or for media inquiries, please contact:

Tonya D. Hottmann,

News Informant Inc.


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