n. Media coverage that focuses on poll results and political battles instead of policy issues.
Charest's unveiling of the key plank in his platform — his health-care proposals — ran a very poor third on a splendid day of uproar for the media. It looks like it's going to be one of those campaigns: horse-race journalism fed by constant polling, competing sound bites from the leaders, preparations to pounce on a gaffe, real or imagined, and no reporting worth the name of what the parties actually stand for.
[O]ne reason the substance of policy is not communicated is that reporters carry over to their coverage of government the campaign mind-set of horse-race journalism. Process stories predominate, and the emphasis is on who is gaining or losing, not on what is being done.
Pollster Daniel Yankelovich criticizes what he calls horse-race journalism, which he thinks explains why most newspapers misuse polls.