NDN Blog

Your "Cyber Image" and Search Engine Optimization

An individual or organization’s "cyber image" can have a huge impact on its first impression.  An article in today’s Post reaffirmed that importance and revealed that many are finding a cyber image is becoming increasingly difficult to manage, creating a new niche PR market – virtual reputation management. 

Our New Politics Institute has already addressed the important (and fairly untapped) political tool of search engine optimization.  In a May 2006 report, NPI delineated how search engines operate, how they calculate which websites appear on top of search queries, and 15 ways political organizations and campaigns can optimize their search engine results.  NPI then followed up with a report in October detailing how ads on the leading search engine, Google, specifically work and their applicability to politics. 

Right Wing Talk Shows Helped Derail Immigration Bill

A new report released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism asks whether talk show hosts helped to dismantle the immigration bill earlier this month.  According to the report, which looked at the period from June 3 - 8, immigration was the second most debated topic on the airwaves at 19% (second only to the 2008 campaign at 26%).

The report also found that in the 26-day period from the time the bill was announced until Majority Leader Reid pulled it from debate because of frivolous amendments from Republicans aimed to kill the bill, the airwaves were dominated, "by vocal hosts opposed to the legislation who often referred to it with the politically damning term "amnesty bill."

Hosts such as CNN's Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh each spent at least 15 % of their shows' time on immigration, according to the report.  Host Michael Savage compared the opponents of the bill to the defenders of the Alamo.  

Another recent report released by the Center for American Progress and Free Press may help explain why the debate was so skewed against a bill that would provide the most significant (and much needed) overhaul of this country's immigration system in recent memory.

The report found that talk radio, one of the most widely used media formats in the country, is almost exclusively conservative, calling into question whether companies that are licensed to broadcast are balanced, serving the listening needs of all Americans.

Its findings include:

  • - In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.
  • - Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk - 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.
  • - 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.
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