CBS Goes a Step Further with Coverage of Tight Senate Race

This year, Democrats are close to retaking the Senate. One network’s coverage of the Senate race has gone a step further than the other two.

On Oct. 26, CBS aired a nearly two-minute story on the Indiana Senate race.

The piece followed Democrat and former senator Evan Bayh’s attempt to replace Republican Sen. Todd Young. It also discussed how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are impacting this race.

The night before, CBS’s Julianna Goldman had covered the Senate race in Pennsylvania. Again, the story was nearly two minutes long.

Goldman examined the battle between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Katie McGinty. She also connected this race to the race for the White House.

ABC and NBC did not cover Senate races either night.

In New Hampshire that week, Hillary Clinton appeared alongside Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. All three networks referenced down-ballot races in their Clinton stories for that night.

But only CBS continued extensive Senate race coverage for the next few days.

Are these Senate races worth this kind of network evening news coverage?

Does focusing on any single Senate race tell the whole story? Or would one or two show the bigger picture?

Carol Marin, a political editor for NBC5 in Chicago, said, “It doesn’t have to tell the whole story. It doesn’t have to carry the full importance of a total election.”

She praised CBS’s pieces on individual Senate races.

“My vote is a very affirmative ‘have at it and do it’. We should know who these people are and we should know what the big contests are. I’d rather see that than endless hurricane stories.”

But she added, “There isn’t a right or wrong. There isn’t an absolute value here. It’s a producer’s call. A newscast is like a canvas… and you’re painting a picture of the day. On that canvas you have a lot of different nuances and varieties and textures.”

Marin also said there’s a lesson for viewers here.

“This is why you don’t stick with one news outlet. Each of them gives you a different way of looking at it.”

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