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CAMPAGN cTVATCli COVERAGE BY THE TR1BUNE-HERALE; no. of stories squai -e inches of news stories square inches of headlines squar0i#Ohp*, photos .%. Lyndon Olson 15′ 311 69 Jack Buress 19 233 70 72 Lane Denton 160 28 0 Marvin Leath 5 73 i9 Lyndon Olson Jack Burgess Lane Denton Marvin Leath Politics and the ant Oributtr*rath By Harris Worcester “We will impartially print the news, good some bad, which may offend some at times, but we will always strive to be fair to everyone.” Raymond Preddy Assistant Publisher Waco Tribune-Herald November 29, 1977 Ray Preddy’s recitation of his paper’s credo, delivered before the Downtown Kiwanis Club, is the sort of maxim commonly found chisled in marble above the portals of newspaper offices. But it is far easier to propound such principles than it is to live up to them, as the Tribune-Herald is proving with its coverage of four candidates currently seeking the 11th district congressional seat being vacated this year by Rep. Bob Po age : The Waco daily, one of four in Texas owned by the Georgia-based Cox newspaper chain, boasts the largest circulation in the district-29,000 Monday through Saturday, 54,000 on Sundays. A third of the 1 lth district’s voters live in the Waco area, where the TribuneHerald’s influence is greatest. The paper is the major source of day-to-day politi cal information in this Central Texas districtthe journal of record that voters consult for the information they need to choose among competing candidates. Despite what the Kiwanians were told, however, the conduct of Preddy’s paper offers a textbook case of how a daily newspaper can use its news columns to tout political favorites and bury those who are not in its good graces. An independent study, made by a regular Tribune-Herald reader last fall and sent recently to the Observer, reveals a pattern of editorial selectivity and placement of stories that is fair neither to the candidates involved nor to the readervoters in the 11th district. Our analyst, who requested anonymity, studied the paper’s coverage of congressional candidates Lyndon Olson, Jack Burgess, Lane Denton and Marvin Leath during a 16-week period between Aug. 5 and Nov. 30. He used as objective a tool of measurement as is availablethe ruler. Late summer and fall was a politically active time for each of the four men, who were then organizing their campaigns, developing issues, making appearances to establish early name identification, and preparing to announce their candidacies. Their levels of activity were approximately equal to one another during the 16 weeks under scrutiny, but the Tribune-Herald’s news coverage clearly favored Olson and Burgess over Denton and Leath. The accompanying charta simple tabulation of stories and inchestells much of the tale: the two favorites got roughly twice the space of the two outsiders. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 1’5 64″,