PBA Putsch

The center analyzed news broadcasts during the hot one-month run-up to the November 2004 election. It found that South Florida stations (four English language, two Spanish) devoted an average of 4 minutes, 37 seconds out of each half-hour news broadcast to election coverage. Most political news focused on the Bush-Kerry race. Contests important to Broward such as the campaigns for property assessor or supervisor of elections received barely a mention. As for state initiatives relating to slots or teenage abortions or congressional contests? A big goose egg.

Here's a breakdown of the average half-hour of news before Election Day:

Advertising: 8 minutes, 44 seconds

Fred Harper

Sports and weather: 5 minutes, 10 seconds

Elections: 4 minutes, 37 seconds

Presidential coverage: 2 minutes, 36 seconds

Noncandidate coverage: 1 minute, 21 seconds

All other races (local, state, federal): 54 seconds

Crime: 2 minutes, 42 seconds

Local interest: 1 minute, 26 seconds

Teasers, intros, music: 1 minute, 54 seconds

Health: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Other: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Unintentional injury: 1 minute, 11 seconds

Business/economy: 36 seconds

Government (nonelection coverage): 17 seconds

Iraq: 15 seconds

Foreign policy: 23 seconds

-- As told to Edmund Newton

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