Talkers take to the tunnel


That’s tunnel as in tunnel vision. As a general rule, talk hosts bounce off whatever is in the news during a given week and amplify it. This week was no exception, but that’s amazing when you consider that the Project for Excellence in Journalism news coverage chart for the week of 1/6/08-1/11/08 detailed a 49% focus on the 2008 election. Talkers followed their general rule and amplified the news, allocating an astounding 75% of their available time and space to the election. During a normal week, 3% might get a story on the bottom of the top ten list; this week, it was all that was needed to tie for second (the topics were Iran and immigration). Three stories making the list couldn’t even be rounded up to 1%. As with straight journalists, talkers allowed the Mideast travels of President George W. Bush to exist in somewhat of a media vacuum — it was one of the sub-1% stories.