Calif. voters rely on b’cast news

Cablers perceived as more credible, immediate, in-depth

NEW YORK — A study released Monday found that a majority of Californians polled relied on ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts as their primary source for election info.

Survey was conducted by Initiative, one of the country’s top media buying agencies. Network news execs, who often feel overlooked because of the preoccupation with cable news, took heart at the study.

But according to the report, cable news is perceived as being more immediate, credible, trustworthy and in-depth than network news. TV talkshows, political ads and network news were seen as the most sensational.

Major findings included the following:

  • Of those polled, 16% said they used broadcast network news as their primary sources of news and political info about the campaign; 14% said they turned to the Internet; 13% to cable news; and 11% to talk radio.

  • Democrats living in major metro areas relied most on TV news and debates; Republicans in major metro areas relied most on the Internet and newspapers.

  • As the campaign progressed, almost half of those surveyed — 47% — said they relied less and less on political ads for information. In fact, information provided by the candidates themselves, whether advertisements or pamphlets, had the least impact of any media.

And 60% said political advertising left them feeling “disenchanted” and that incumbent Gov. Gray Davis’ negative ads in particular had a “boomerang effect.”

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