Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Election Coverage: Overkill or Necessary?

By: Julie Hartz

The 2008 Presidential Election has been a leading topic of conversation for many Ohians over the past few months. Athens residents say it's difficult to even turn the TV on without hearing the latest news on endorsements or poll results. But with an election year as big as this, is all of this media coverage too much, or necessary?

Talking to some residents and students in Athens, the general opinion is that the amount of media coverage has been excessive, even for today's journalists. It is the biggest election we eager reporters have gotten to talk about for a very long time. But that doesn’t mean every citizen only wants to hear about who’s campaigning where and who’s supporting whom.

Barber Alan Trout talks about the election chit chat at his shop.

Alan Trout, an employee at Carsey's Barbershop on Court Street, said his customers are part of that group of people who want to hear what else is going on in the world. “People that come in here are tired of it, and then they say ‘we’ve got eight more months of this!’”

Athens Resident Richard Nostrant agrees, but recognizes the importance of coverage. “I think it’s a bit overdone, but the basis of our democracy is free election, so let them have their fun and let’s hope the right persons get in.”

Athens resident Richard Nostrant talks about election coverage.

Student groups on Ohio University’s campus are getting involved by watching the returns for Super Tuesday at different hot spots on campus. Members of the National Honors Fraternity Phi Sigma Pi are meeting on the first floor of Baker University Center to watch primary results, which will surely spark some heated debates.

Honors fraternity president Stefan Barber talks about growing interest in primaries.

Phi Sigma Pi President Stefan Barber agrees the news coverage has been a bit much, but thinks today will ignite more interest. “I think we did go through a period where people were getting tired of it. Fox News, CNN, they basically have just been covering the election. But I would say it’s caught its second wind.”

Whether or not you want to hear it, the election buzz is not about to stop in the near future. Ohio’s primary is just a month away and as a swing state, it plays a very important role, no matter what happens Super Tuesday.

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