Analyzing media impact on voting

According to an article on Directions, the Carter Center and ESRI are working together to determine the impact that various forms of media have on voting patterns. The stated purpose of the project is to "reduce corruption and promote equitable access to political information during elections by using the maps to empower policy makers and the public to facilitate constructive reforms of political finance laws and practices regarding media access." Again quoting from the article, "The maps depict which kinds of media reach which voters, and who owns those media outlets. In addition they display voter characteristics in a given district in terms of native languages, socioeconomic status, and education levels". While there is no mention of the types of analysis to be performed or the level of statistical sophistication, the project does seem like an interesting use of spatial analysis. Most interesting of all is that the project will NOT be conducted in the US, but instead will analyze patterns in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Guatemala. As a former faculty member of a Political Science department, I would find that this type of analysis would provide very interesting results if conducted in the US (big money, big media, big victory). However, perhaps the results might cut a little too close to the bone of advertisers and media outlets that are ESRI customers. Just my cynical speculation.

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