More Ads, Less Journalism

"Continuing a twenty-year trend that has seen advertising expenses skyrocket as traditional political party organizing has fallen by the wayside, the total for political ads this election year is estimated by most industry analysts at over $1.5 billion, $400 million of which will be spent by the presidential campaigns," report Sakura Saunders and Ben Clarke. "Over the last 24 years, broadcast TV advertising alone has increased from $90 million to over a $1 billion. At roughly the same pace that advertising revenue has grown, broadcast TV coverage of substantive electoral issues has dwindled. Network convention coverage, for example, has fallen from around 100 hours in 1980 to approximately 18 hours this year."