Update: The first analysis of campaign ads was released on Jan. 30 and can be found on Wesleyan Media Project's website. The data informed coverage in a variety of media including NPR, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald and USA Today, among others.
On Monday, just in time for the Florida primary, The Wesleyan Media project will release its first analysis of campaign ads in 2012 – shedding light on those attempting to influence the presidential election.
Knight Foundation is funding the project, the first in a series of grants to be announced this year to support new ways to deepen Americans’ engagement in elections and foster more informed communities.
The support for the projects is emerging from a meeting last fall, where Knight gathered a group of media thought leaders for a discussion on new ways for people to participate in elections through digital tools and content.
Knight previously supported The Wesleyan Media Project for an analysis of broadcast advertising during the 2010 election, and the project participated in last fall's gathering.
On Monday, though, The Wesleyan Media Project’s data will be particularly important, as this is the first presidential election since the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case, which opened the door for unlimited corporate and union investment in federal elections.
The project will analyze raw data for the television spots, and code each ad (televised and Internet) on several characteristics, including its sponsor (corporate, union, party, candidate, interest group, individual) and tone (negative or positive), allowing a comparison of all of these attributes to determine how ads differ by source.