Campaign Ad Assignment
Your political campaign advertising assignment involves analyzing "... a print or electronic campaign advertisement or series of advertisements seeking to influence voters in November. It can be linked to a specific ticket or issue at any electoral level..."
Keep in mind that you must use your assigned readings, as well as "two relevant outside scholarly sources published in peer-reviewed journals or books."
Finding Political Ads
There are several ways you might approach this project:
- News: use local and national news sources (see the "News Sources" tab) to identify specific races. You can then search for candidates names or locations on YouTube.
- MORE News Options: online or print articles in news sources may reference particular advertisements. They may link directly to or embed the ad within the news article itself. Here's an example from the Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/09/21/36131/
- Political parties: visit both local and national political party websites for their campaign ads. Don't forget the smaller parties, in addition to both the state and national arms of the Democratic and Republican parties. In addition to the various Tea Party organizations, there are other political parties, like the Green Party, Libertarian party, U.S. Taxpayers Party, etc.
- Issues or particular races: look for special interest groups OR super PACs that focus on particular issues (again, you can use news articles to help identify these). They may sponsor their own advertising campaigns.
Official campaign websites (don't forget Congressional elections, too):
- Stanford Political Communication Lab - campaign ads from 1994-2012 (California races and presidential campaigns)
- YouTube: search by candidate name, by issue/topic, by the name of a special interest group, the region (i.e., Senate race in Massachusetts, for example)
Obama YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BarackObamadotcom
Romney YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/mittromney
- HuffingtonPost: Track campaign ad related news from this popular liberal political opinion and news site. Includes links to some ads.
- New York Times - The Caucus (blog) - political blog posts specifically discussing campaign ads. Often includes link to ad itself.
- Washington Post - campaign ad tracker
Watchdog and fact-checking sites
Journalists or other organizations who check for accuracy in political discourse. Use these sites to find discussions of specific campaign ads, or assess the validity of claims made in campaign advertisements.
- Project Vote Smart - Check voting records, background, and public statements of candidates from around the country.
- Michigan Truth Squad: Evaluate the truth and accuracy of Michigan political advertisements. Click on "past calls" to view evaluations of specific advertisements.
- Michigan Watch - from Michigan Public Radio
- Fact Check.Org: From the Annenberg Center, check the accuracy of statements, including advertisements, from politicians, pundits and special interest groups.