Local Media Coverage of Candidates for State Supreme Courts

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What explains media coverage of state supreme court candidates? While the scholarly literature thoroughly examines media coverage of judicial decision-making, little is known about how members of the press cover candidates for the bench. This is an important omission as the campaign trail is one of the few places where voters and candidates directly interact with one another. In this research, I present new data regarding local press coverage of candidates for state supreme courts between 2002 and 2014. I find that, similar to coverage of judicial opinions, members of the press are largely drawn to conflict and spectacle. Specifically, journalists are more likely to cover expensive, churlish, and competitive campaigns for the bench. Nevertheless, I also find that the predicted rate of candidate coverage has fallen dramatically between 2002 and 2014 (approximately 62 percent).




Hughes, D. A. (2022). Local Media Coverage of Candidates for State Supreme Courts. Justice System Journal, 43(3), 238–259. https://doi.org/10.1080/0098261X.2022.2071659

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