In my column Saturday, I didn’t discuss the possibility that protesting could generate increased media coverage of the DNC.

Don’t count on it. If there is protesting, it will be minor. And if there are arrests, I bet the numbers will be small and the actions peaceful and therefore not attracting Seattle-WTO-like coverage.

Someone told me she thought the DNC would get more coverage because it’s in the West. Yup, she’s a Democratic political consultant, and she forgets that the real world doesn’t care about speculation that western states could decide the 2008 presidential election, at least not enough to drive ratings. So this issue, while obviously important, won’t affect media coverage of the DNC.

Here’s the full email text of retired 9News anchor Ed Sardella’s thoughts on media coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

I think the downward spiral of interest in and coverage of orchestrated, suspense-less conventions will continue on the national and local level.  Denver media may enjoy an unusual level of interest just because the Dem convention is here.

I predict there will be less coverage than 2004, and that print will rely on their outsources more than ever before. I can’t comment specifically on the number who will attend but I think it will be down significantly from 2004.

Back in the heyday of TV news with big budgets, it was worth the expense to stations on the local level to have their anchor seen live in front of the banner at the podium that said, “Democratic (or Republican) National Convention.” I had personal experience with that. At the conventions I was sent to in the 80’s, it seemed I started hearing “WRAP” in my ear as soon as I and the banner appeared on the screen together. The importance of the shot far exceeded the content of the report. Those days are gone. I sense local stations will not send people to the conventions in large numbers not only because of the financial consideration but out of conviction that few, if any, watching at home will care… banner or not.

Three other factors in the equation may be worth mentioning. First, the circus that is presidential campaigns has crossed the line into the theater of the absurd in the minds of hoards of citizens because of the early campaigning and the childish and frantic obsession on the part of the states to be first or early with their primaries. I heard reports this week that all will be decided by March, if not sooner.  That will leave months before the conventions for people to put the campaign completely out of mind.

The second factor is the location of the conventions. I have had a number of print people tell me that the attractiveness of the venue has a lot to do with the intensity of the lobbying for the assignment in their newsrooms. Perhaps that is an element of the decision making process that is underestimated. How will this year’s locations be seen by reporters who might have the option (and luxury) of going or not going?

Third, and unknown, is to what degree, if any, the candidates’ reliance on new media to attract young potential voters will succeed. I am on the pessimistic side of center.



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