Data Smog and the debates

…increased fragmentation of the television audience with the decline of the networks and the rise of cable channels might diminish the viewership for the debates and thereby change their effect.

Recent studies of the debates four years ago by Prof. Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and others indicate that it matters whether a voter actually watches the debates or forms an opinion from reading media commentary devoted to them (empasis mine – Karl). Those who watched the first debate, Professor Jamieson said, tended to think Al Gore won, while those who merely read about it reflected the view of many journalists that Mr. Bush had succeeded in making Mr. Gore look hypocritical.

NYTimes: 09-21-2004