Perception Is Reality

What In The World Does It Mean?

Posted on: January 9, 2008

So, I have decided to start a new bit on my blog where each week I define a prominent, yet not so understood term relating either to film, advertising, or communications.

The first term for the week is Horse Race Journalism

This is a term which refers to the political process covered by the media. It means the media (television in particular) focus more on the polls and results and the images of candidates rather than policies at hand. They focus more on whose winning, losing and opinions than these policies.

In Film and television, horse-race journalism is used in context with “television’s predispositions to drama and visual imagery.” TV is being increasingly used in covering political campaigns and presidential elections and it influences on the audience and voters’ (agenda setting).

Linda Lee Kaid’s “Television as Political Process” talks about the use of the particular media to cover political campaigns and explains how – as mentioned above – the visual imagery and drama takes away the importance of focussing on policy issues and instead focuses on candidates’ images. Other focuses in the article about various negative aspects of political coverage on TV.

Examples of horserace journalism include the opening sequence of Fahrenheit 9/11 where there is footage of who is higher on the polls between George Bush and Al Gore.

Another example of horserace journalism may be Wag the Dog, where the president’s image is important for re-election and certain scandals need to be suppressed.


4 Responses to "What In The World Does It Mean?"

Hello ,
I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Pakistani side of WWW. I am Ghazala Khan from The Paksitani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the blogistan.

We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable Pakistani bloggers. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you dont mind. Please send me your approval for your interview, so that I could send you the questions. We would be extremely grateful. We have done many interviews with many bloggers from Pakistan like Dr. Awab, Kashif Aziz, Fahd Mirza and host of others.


Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator

A great example of Horse Race Journalism occurred just yesterday when HRC won the NH Primary after pundits were expecting her to lose by double digits.

Looking forward to the rest of this series.

I couldnt’t catch that, unfortunately. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only one who reads, Vasta. I love you 😛

Haha…I read a lot, but I definitely don’t analyze as well as you. Kudos on the awesome work you’re doing here.

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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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