MADISON, WIS. — An average of 36 seconds per broadcast is all that election coverage has warranted on local evening news in nine top Midwestern markets since Labor Day, a study released Thursday found.
The five-state analysis by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's NewsLab looked at 30-minute evening news broadcasts on 36 stations in nine top Midwestern television markets.
Advertising, sports and weather all received more attention than the upcoming November election, the study found. On average, the stations devoted more than 10 minutes to advertising, seven minutes to sports and weather and about 2 1/2 minutes to crime per broadcast.
The only stories that received less air time on average, according to the study, were ones about foreign policy - 23 seconds - and unintentional injury - 11 seconds.
The study looked at more than 1,800 broadcasts on three dozen NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. All five states have competitive campaigns for top state offices.