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Nobody Cares About Policy, Part 80 Gazillion

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9 days to go. It feels like 9 million. Among other reasons, because 2016 has been a gigantic exercise is no one caring about policy one bit. That certainly has included the media.

Walking away from a long-standing tradition of covering issues and presidential policies during campaign season, the network evening newscasts have all but abandoned that type of reporting this year, according to recent tabulations from Tyndall Report, which for decades has tracked the flagship nightly news programs.

Since the beginning of 2016, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have devoted just 32 minutes to issues coverage, according to Andrew Tyndall.

Differentiating issues coverage from daily campaign coverage where policy topics might be addressed, Tyndall defines issues coverage by a newscast this way: “It takes a public policy, outlines the societal problem that needs to be addressed, describes the candidates’ platform positions and proposed solutions, and evaluates their efficacy.”

And here’s how that kind of in-depth coverage breaks down, year to date, by network:

ABC: 8 minutes, all of which covered terrorism.

NBC: 8 minutes for terrorism, LBGT issues, and foreign policy.

CBS: 16 minutes for foreign policy, terrorism, immigration, policing, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Oh, I’m sure that will totally change in 2017, what with the House Republicans impeaching Hillary because of course they will and Trump doing whatever he is going to do. Good times.

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