Study: Media’s Trump Coverage Negative on Every Outlet, Every Issue

Craig Bannister | May 19, 2017 | 12:43pm EDT
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“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” a new Harvard study concludes.

“Of news reports with a clear tone, negative reports outpaced positive ones by 80 percent to 20 percent,” finds the report from Harvard University analyzing news coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office.

Media coverage of President Barack Obama’s first 100 days was positive 59% of the time, three times more often than Trump’s 20% positive coverage.

Negativity towards Trump was ubiquitous, the study finds:

“Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was not merely negative in overall terms. It was unfavorable on every dimension. There was not a single major topic where Trump’s coverage was more positive than negative.”

Every media outlet studied provided more negative than positive coverage of Trump, ranging from a high of 93% negative at CNN and NBC to a low of 52% negative at Fox:

  • CNN: 93% Negative,
  • NBC: 93% Negative,
  • CBS: 91% Negative,
  • New York Times: 87% Negative,
  • Washington Post: 83% Negative,
  • Wall Street Journal: 70% Negative
  • Fox: 52% Negative

Likewise, media coverage was negative about Trump regarding every major issue studied. Media were most disparaging of Trump regarding immigration (96% negative), followed by their 87% negative coverage regarding both health care and Russia’s role in the 2016 elections.

Media were most balanced covering Trump regarding economic matters, with 54% negative stories and 46% positive stories:

  • Immigration: 96% Negative,
  • Heath care: 87% Negative,
  • Russia and the Election: 87% Negative,
  • International Trade: 84%
  • Personal Background: 82%
  • Other Foreign/Defense: 82% Negative,
  • Personnel: 82% Negative,
  • Fitness for Office: 81% Negative,
  • Terrorist Threat: 70% Negative,
  • Other Domestic: 72% Negative,
  • Economy: 54% Negative,
  • All Other Topics: 82% Negative

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