Eleven Recommendations for Improving Election Night Coverage

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January 1, 2004, 12:00 pm

This pamphlet by Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at the Shorenstein Center, contains ideas for strengthening election night telecasts. The recommendations were developed in consultation with television executives and journalists, by examining the internal reviews that the networks themselves conducted after their election night broadcasts of 2000, and through a systematic comparison of election night coverage of the 1968 and 2000 presidential elections – both elections were cliffhangers but occurred at very different stages in the evolution of television news coverage. Although the recommendations are based on journalistic values, they are designed to strengthen the audience appeal and impact of election night telecasts.

Download the report (PDF).