Who won the coverage of the US presidential debate?

After tracking three debates Kaleida can show patterns in the way leading publishers are covering them. It goes like this:

Step one: Write a “heads up” piece on the day, maybe the day before. Tell people what to expect and entice them to come back for your live coverage or follow on analysis. There are probably relevant news events or research studies, including polls that say one candidate has to ‘step up their game’ or something like that.

WINNER: NBC News, “‘Wall’ of Taco Trucks Line Up at Trump’s Hotel in Protest“

Step two: Do something live. Whether it’s video or a liveblog or whatever make sure that you are in the game and competing for position on Google News, ready to break the story of the debate as soon as it happens, whatever it is.


Step three: Get the story. There are a handful of types of stories that can be written in the first few hours following the debate:

Step four: Hear what ‘the people’ have to say. You can do vox pops and interviews in places mentioned in the debate or with people demographically targeted in the candidates’ statements. There’s always a tweet that goes viral, so pick that up, too.

WINNER: These are still coming in

Step five: Amplify the key stories. Produce more analysis and thought pieces that either capture the mood following the debate or dive into the issues raised and what the candidates’ positions actually mean.

WINNER: The likely candidates are Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election result, saying he would deport ‘Bad Hombres’, or Clinton’s and Trump’s views about the Second Amendment. Though not directly related to the debate it does appear Trump’s children are increasingly drawing fire, too.

Originally published at www.kaleida.com on October 20, 2016.