Analyzing Political Coverage Around the Web

Learn more about Election 2012, the candidates, the issues, and the trends, by exploring the Web. As you read and explore, it is important to ask yourself:

  • Who is publishing this material?
  • Are they attempting to present facts or persuade readers?
  • Are they affiliated with other groups or organizations that attempt to present facts or persuade readers?

Web sites that relate to politics and elections can be grouped into several categories:

News Web sites will publish stories about politics and elections. Some will also dedicate a portion of their site to publishing stories related to major elections. Stories are written by journalists who try to write objectively, or without bias. Opinions should be limited to editorial pages or commentaries by specific individuals. You can check out your local newspaper online, or visit news Web sites such as:

The Los Angeles Times

The Miami Herald

The New York Times

The Chicago Tribune

The Houston Chronicle

The Washington Post

The Wall Street Journal

MSNBC

CNN

FOXNews

Some Web sites collect and rate the claims and speeches of candidates and political parties, or provide information about funding and contributions to political campaigns.

FactCheck.org is produced by the Annenberg Foundation

Open Secrets describes itself as a “nonpartisan guide to money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy.”

PolitiFact is produced by the St. Petersburg Times.

The Internet is home to hundreds of blogs and Web sites where people publish their ideas and opinions about politics. Be aware that they may present facts or information selectively in order to persuade readers.

A political party is a group of people with general shared interests about government. They work together to help candidates they support win elections. A political action committee, or PAC, is an organization set up by interest groups especially to collect money to support favored candidates or influence elections. Web sites for political parties and PACs are actively trying to persuade readers to share their views.

Official Web site for the Republican Party

Official Web site for the Democratic Party

Federal Sites

The Federal Election Commission enforces regulations that relate to how campaigns are financed. Visit their Web site to see summaries of how much money is being spent, and where. Be sure to check out the list of everyone currently running for the office of president.

You can visit the Web site for the U.S. Electoral College to learn more the role of the Electoral College in electing the U.S. president.

White House.gov is the digital home base of the current presidential administration. It changes with every new elected executive.

Dig Deeper

From the list below, select a topic that interests you. Visit the official Web sites of the Republican and Democratic parties. Search for information about the issue you selected on each party’s site. Create a 2-column chart that contrasts the views of each party on that issue.

  • The Economy and Jobs
  • The Environment
  • National Security
  • Immigration
Lia Eastep

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