CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL YEAR IN REVIEW
TOP TWENTY STORIES OF 2008

minsTotalABCCBSNBC
2008 Obama campaign745261246239
2008 McCain campaign531158167207
2008 Rodham Clinton campaign2881108989
Financial industry federal bailout2811058096
Crude oil, gasoline prices2739710077
NYSE-NASDAQ market action262958780
Iraq: US-led combat continues2448260102
Automobile industry in trouble239718780
Beijing Summer Olympics2367654114
2008 GOP VP Palin nomination215548873
Economy officially in recession201517278
Floods along Mississippi River162605844
2008 Democratic Convention154644842
Obama Administration transition149564547
2008 General Election vote145475839
Real estate home foreclosures127405432
Afghanistan fighting continues126362070
Tornado season126443547
Mormon sect practices polygamy124384045
Gov Rod Blagojevich under fire122373748
Total Top Twenty Stories4750158215161649




PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ANNUAL TRENDS

year (mins)198819921996200020042008
ABC99310306309598091157
CBS112595167810507931318
NBC999105957610928321202
Total311730401883310224333677


FOCUS ON CANDIDATES (three-nets total mins)

2008Barack Obama745    John McCain531
2004John Kerry445    George W Bush352
2004Al Gore297    George W Bush339
2004Bill Clinton174    Bob Dole337
2004Bill Clinton448    George HW Bush461
2004Michael Dukakis421    George HW Bush388


IRAQ COVERAGE: SIX YEAR TRENDS

year (three nets)200320042005200620072008
Invasion, combat1602135387911311157244
Other storylines256017001101878731190
Total Iraq Coverage41623053198120091888434
Combat as % of total Iraq38%44%44%56%61%56%


Forget about Iraq and Afghanistan. Forget about George Bush. 2008's network news agenda was dominated by just two questions. Who would be the next President? And how deep would the recession be that confronts him.
Campaign 2008 was much more newsworthy than any of the last five Presidential contests. Barack Obama attracted twice as much coverage as an average nominee. John McCain was hardly shortchanged, attracting more attention than any nominee since 1988-except for the man who happened to beat him.
Economic coverage-woes with mortgages, in high finance, on Wall Street, at the gas pump, in Detroit-always increases during a recession but this year's total (2767 mins) easily surpassed the last two downturns (1775 mins in 2001; 1872 in 1990).
The lame duck President became an afterthought. Astonishingly, the White House correspondents at ABC and NBC did not even earn enough assignments to rank in the year's Top 20. Coverage of foreign policy was the lowest in 21 years and domestic policy ranked 18th out of 21.
Overseas coverage was neglected too. Both ABC and CBS set 21-year record lows for use of their foreign bureaus. If NBC had not been shilling in Beijing for NBC Sports' Olympics, its decline would have been greater. And Baghdad? Well, forget about it.
The Most Newsworthy Woman of the Year: Sarah Palin, prominently interviewed by anchor Katie Couric. CBS found her as worthy of coverage as Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Year's Most Newsworthy Man: Obama of course.


TOP 20 MOST USED REPORTERS (Anchors excl)

networknameassignmentmins
NBCAndrea MitchellDC Bureau355
ABCJake TapperCampaign Trail313
CBSDean ReynoldsCampaign Trail262
NBCRobert BazellMedicine261
ABCBetsy StarkEconomy245
CBSAnthony MasonDC Bureau230
ABCGeorge StephanopoulosPolitical Analysis229
NBCTom CostelloDC Bureau224
NBCLee CowanCampaign Trail196
CBSNancy CordesDC Bureau195
CBSJeff GreenfieldPolitical Analysis182
ABCDavid MuirDomestic181
ABCDan HarrisDomestic178
NBCKelly O'DonnellCampaign Trail172
ABCDavid WrightCampaign Trail168
CBSChip ReidCampaign Trail158
CBSSteve HartmanHuman Interest152
CBSSharyl AttkissonDC Bureau145
CBSBen TracyDomestic142
CBSJim AxelrodWhite House138