Last year spending on local elections was the highest on record, reaching nearly $28 million. The infusion of cash demonstrates how politicians and their powerful associates wield an influence on the political process that our campaign finance laws cannot effectively or appropriately manage.
The Public Press spent six months digging and sorting, and many hours talking with staff at the Ethics Commission for clarification on the best ways to find and distill the information on the 2015 elections.
Bay Area stations surveyed aired a combined 25.8 hours of paid political ads. By comparison, they aired about 3.5 hours of election news coverage.
The 2015 election united the political clout of two rich, powerful industries that will exert an enduring in uence across the city, Bay Area and nation: real estate and technology.
This publicly accessible tool helps journalists (and anyone else who’s interested) for the first time to perform data-driven analyses of the content found on television.
Despite numerous challenges, our findings quantified how the local election was covered: Coverage was scarce — and repetitive.
The director of the TV News Archive sits down with us to explain how people can use the database to search for news segments and share them on social media.