When it comes to the reports, polls, and surveys ranted about in this space, this one must be the current leader for the title of “most obvious conclusions”.

A new study out from the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy shows what readers of political blogs in either half of Blogistan already know painfully well: traditional media’s coverage of our political contests is dissatisfying and generally uninformative.

Uninformative is an understatement in the extreme.

Political coverage in most of the media is misleading at the minimum and, especially in the case of the cable “news” channels, generally qualifies as propaganda.

Basically, most of their programs set the candidates up as characters in a continuing drama, with the talking heads (don’t call them journalists!) weaving a story around the narrative selected for that day.

A story that will hopefully boost their ratings and credibility (within the family of other talking heads).

Certainly the purpose is not to inform their viewers of the important issues facing the country and of the programs and policies advocated by the candidates to solve those problems.

Some call this “sports reporting”, the the play-by-play calling of a ball game or horse race.

It looks more like a soap opera. And not even one of those fun-to-watch telenovelas on the Spanish language channels (and wonderfully spoofed on Ugly Betty) where I know enough of the language to follow along but not much more.

media, journalism, politics, propaganda