Anyone clicking on the homepage of the Tampa Bay Times today will find the newspaper's coverage of the Republican National convention nearly entirely squeezed out by two opposing ads, one paid for by Obama Victory Fund 2012 and the other by Romney Victory, Inc.
America, here is your 2012 election.
Politico's Mike Allen first pointed out the ad crowding in Playbook Tuesday (Politico is apparently a partner of the Times for the convention). Nearly the only thing left on this newspaper's web site are a few nav bars and some touts for "Remember Our Heroes 2012" and a PolitFact's Settle It! app that allows you to "resolve dinner-table arguments."
All that paid-for political advertising isn't just symbolic, though. Last week a study last week from Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found more people than ever are getting their campaign news from the campaigns themselves rather than journalists:
Journalists are the source for about half as much of the statements about the candidates as was the case 12 years go. The campaigns, by contrast, have come to play an ever larger role in shaping these narratives. The candidates and their partisan allies are the source for nearly a third more of the personal narrative about the candidates than in 2000.