The role of the media in US presidential elections



6 June 2012

The press plays such an important role in US democracy that it’s often referred to as the fourth branch of government. This description rings especially true during election season, but how exactly does the media influence voter perceptions and preferences?

Washington Post National Economics Correspondent Michael Fletcher shared his thoughts on the media coverage of the world’s most high profile election. In this special event, Fletcher, a former White House Correspondent covering both the Obama and Bush presidencies, appeared in conversation with ABC’s John Barron, who has reported on US presidential campaigns for the past two decades.


  • Michael Fletcher
    Senior Writer, The Undefeated, ESPN

    Michael A. Fletcher was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in 2012. Fletcher a Senior Writer for ESPN's The Undefeated. Prior to this, Fletcher was a national economics correspondent for The Washington Post, writing about unemployment, state and municipal debt and the evolving job market. Previously, he was a White House correspondent, covering both the Obama and Bush administrations. Fletcher is co-author of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, a critically acclaimed biography published by Doubleday in April 2007.

  • John Barron
    John Barron
    Journalist and broadcaster, ABC

    John Barron was previously an Honorary Associate at the US Studies Centre. He is anchor of “Planet America” on ABC-TV and author of the book “Vote For Me” about the 2008 Presidential campaign.