CAMPAIGN '88 : Iowa TV Coverage Hit

Local television stations in Des Moines, the major media market in Iowa, have done little to cover the presidential race in their own back yard, and now are starting to take some heat.

Campaign officials in Iowa now openly grumble that one reason they have been forced to buy so much commercial time on Iowa television is that the race has been poorly covered by local television news, and that their candidates have thus received very little "free media" exposure.

David Yepsen, the influential political reporter for the Des Moines Register, blasted the television coverage in his column this week. He said that, with few exceptions, TV coverage in the state has been a "vast hog lot, to borrow a phrase."

At a media workshop on the caucuses last week, some local television reporters conceded that their stations had done little to cover the campaign, and complained that television consultants were advising their stations that viewers found politics boring.

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