Give the people what they want

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, the cabler's Candy Crowley was asked about the lack of substance in so much of the campaign coverage to date. She responded:

Well, as you know, these are [media] enterprises that have to make money, both papers and networks. They are catering to their customers and what they think their customers are going to read and/or see to a certain extent.

Really? News consumers don't want to bothered with substance which is why editors and producers don't highlight it during the campaign? Beltway insiders say they're just catering to the customers' (shallow) demands.

Fact is, Crowley's point is proven false by all kinds of polling data, none of which has ever suggested that come campaign season news consumers love to read about polling and tactics and gaffes. Journalists do. But voters do not.

From the New York Times' public editor on Sunday:

The public has told the media what it wants. Early this year, roughly three-quarters of voters of all political persuasions surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said they wanted more coverage of the candidates' stands on issues. For the most part, they were disappointed, and their satisfaction with the news media has declined, according to Pew. In February, 55 percent said the election coverage was good or excellent. By June, 54 percent said it was fair or poor.

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