Thursday, May 19, 2016

Study: Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, gets the most negative media coverage

Updated by Jeff Stein on April 15, 2016

The biggest news outlets have published more negative stories about Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Donald Trump — since January 2015, according to a new analysis of hundreds of thousands of online stories published since last year.

Clinton has not only been hammered by the most negative coverage but the media also wrote the smallest proportion of positive stories about her, reports Crimson Hexagon, a social media software analytics company based out of Boston.

Of course, these numbers are just one way of looking at media bias in the presidential campaign. For instance, while the press has hit Clinton more frequently, Crimson Hexagon also found that it's paid much more attention to her than to Bernie Sanders.


this kind of analysis may overlook other ways the press can hurt a candidate — like Sanders — by downplaying or dismissing his or her chances.

Still, Sanders's supporters have widely accused the media of being in the tank for Clinton. And these numbers suggest that perception may not square with reality.


Whether supporters of Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump will really believe their candidates have gotten more positive coverage than Clinton, however, is another question altogether.


But the greater scrutiny probably also reflects the fact that the media regards her as a much more serious frontrunner than Sanders. And that may really have hurt Sanders's chances as much as — or more than — negative stories.


Of course, this cuts both ways. Sanders's fans may have a point when they complain that the press hasn't taken their candidate seriously. But if the media had treated Sanders as a likely winner, it would have almost certainly attacked him more frequently too.

"One of the goals of American journalists is to get out all the information on the person most likely to be president," Lichter says. "As soon as a person moves ahead in the polls, the coverage turns more negative."


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