Society

Study: Trump Coverage More Negative Than Predecessors

| by Robert Fowler

Findings of a new Harvard study suggest that, during his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump appeared in media reports more than twice as much as his predecessors back to former President Bill Clinton. The study found that the tone of Trump's coverage was overwhelmingly negative.

Trump has widely made his feelings concerning the coverage of his administration known; the president asserted during a May 17 commencement address for the Coast Guard Academy that he was the most unfairly maligned politician in world history.

"Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media," Trump declared, according to CNBC news. "No politician in history -- and I say this with great surety -- has been treated worse or more unfairly."

A study conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that the president has clearly received more press coverage than his recent predecessors, and that that coverage has largely been negative.

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The study analyzed the reporting by CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and three European outlets during the first 100 days of the Trump administration, according to the Shorenstein Center.

The resulting report found that Trump received triple the average amount of media attention compared to other presidents, with 41 percent of all news stories concerning him. Trump was also the dominating voice during his television coverage: the president received 65 percent of talking time during news stories about him. Only 3 percent of talking time during Trump stories was given to the protesters who had opposed his administration.

Foreign policy and immigration tied for the most discussed topics throughout U.S. media stories about the president, with health care arriving in third place. 6 percent of all news coverage about Trump concerned Russia's alleged meddling during the 2016 presidential race.

Overall, the report found that 80 percent of the press coverage of Trump's first 100 days in office carried a negative tone. Before Trump, the president who received the most negative media attention during their first 100 days was Clinton, whose coverage was 60 percent negative.

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The study found that the majority of media outlets and networks had produced similar levels of negative coverage for Trump. Fox News by far had the most friendly tone towards the president;  48 percent of the network's Trump coverage was positive, while 52 percent was negative.

Overseas, German media outlet ARD was the most down on the president, with an overwhelming 98 percent of its Trump coverage carrying a negative tone.

Sources: CNBCShorenstein Center / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Is the amount of negative coverage Trump receives warranted?
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