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Profs paying for research?

- October 25, 2008

I always thought that professors did research and got paid for it. But then I got a weird email the other day that seemed to imply the opposite . . .

What role does the media play in Presidential Elections?

Media Content Analysis for your Research

Dear Professor Gelman,

As you know Media Tenor´s special holistic approach on Media Analysis gave additional understanding to the 2000 and 2004 race, we would like to share with you three interesting results of this year’s analysis:
1.How do the different media judgments on the economy have an impact on this year’s elections?
2.Why Giulliani had no chance- even before Florida primaries.
3.Why didn’t health and education proposals help neither Obama nor McCain?

Media Tenor analyzes the media coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign in leading U.S. and international outlets, highlights trends in the political coverage and studies the impact of the media on polls and voter behaviour.

Understanding Agenda Setting effects – media impacts on public perception – is extremely important during an election campaign. As a result, Media Tenor has acquired unique expertise on what drives elections and what appeals to voters.

In case you are interested in our data (in SPSS, Excel and Word) on the elections 2000, 2004 and 2008 for your own research studies, please contact us. We would provide you with your own Media Tenor researcher for any support needed.

The ad includes a pretty graph and testimonials from Marvin Kalb, among others. But I’m a little confused. I can understand that they could be selling data, but they’ll actually analyze data and “provide you with your own Media Tenor researcher for any support needed.” It’s great that they do this, but it seems like a funny thing for a professor to be paying for. Is the NSF giving money to profs to hire Media Tenor Intl to do data analysis? I feel like there’s something I’m missing here.