Media analysts project that campaigns, Super PACs and “social welfare” groups will spend a record-breaking $3.3 billion on political ads by Election Day.
And let’s consider these stations — are they offering any local news coverage to debunk the lies in these ads? Are they exposing the deep-pocketed interests behind the groups buying ad time?
…Free Press took a deeper look at local news coverage in five of the cities — Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Tampa — where ad spending has been highest.
We inspected the political files of stations in these markets, identified the groups most actively placing political ads and pored over hundreds of hours of local news transcripts. In all five of these markets, we found that local newscasts were lacking when it came to covering the ads that dominated their stations.
In other words, they provided no local stories exposing the special interests behind these ads, and only one station among the 20 surveyed devoted eve