4thEstate http://www.4thestate.net Visualizing the Influence of Newsmakers Tue, 14 May 2013 13:42:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 The (Herba) Life of a Tweet http://specialreports.4thestate.net/the-herbalife-of-a-tweet/ http://specialreports.4thestate.net/the-herbalife-of-a-tweet/#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 03:09:07 +0000 admin http://2.8 herbalife-of-a-tweet-infographic-640

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Rob Portman’s Reverses his Position on Gay Marriage http://election2012.4thestate.net/rob-portmans-reverses-his-position-on-gay-marriage/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/rob-portmans-reverses-his-position-on-gay-marriage/#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 13:59:21 +0000 mhowe http://3.4127

Rob Portman says his middle child, Will, told him and his wife that he was gay.

Rob Portman made public announcement saying he has switched his position on gay marriage.

Rob Portman has told the Columbus Dispatch that he has reversed his position on gay marriage. He indicates that the driving force behind the switch in his position was that his middle child, Will, had informed Portman and his wife that he was gay. There were a number of interesting tidbits in the Dispatch story, including the article’s coda about former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro (GOP) who reversed his position on gay marriage for similar reasons – Petro’s daughter married another woman in 2010. Another interesting storyline was Portman receiving advice from former Vice President Dick Cheney to ‘follow his heart’ on the matter.

Portman also published a heart felt commentary on the topic of gay marriage in the Dispatch today.

It makes perfect sense that this is how the whole controversial issue of gay marriage will slowly become a non-issue – through a steady stream of recognitions that gay people are part of our family, have always been part of the family and always will be part of the family. In one report from Yahoo, The Ticket, Portman is quoted as saying “he informed Romney during the vetting process that he had a gay son, but that the issue was not a deal breaker for Romney.” We incorrectly predicted that Portman would be the VP nominee, so maybe this is just sour grapes, but it would be interesting to know if this “non deal breaker” – as Romney’s public response to Portman – was genuine or not. It is hard to imagine that this was not problematic for Mitt Romney. In light of this news, it is also interesting to revisit the graphic we created on the various VP candidates after Paul Ryan was selected by Romney.

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Coverage of the Economy Among Top Newspapers http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-2012-coverage-economy-new-york-times-washington-post-wall-street-journal-la-times-boston-globe/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-2012-coverage-economy-new-york-times-washington-post-wall-street-journal-la-times-boston-globe/#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2013 14:52:01 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3957 In today’s post, we are analyzing the coverage of the economy by top national print outlets from January to November. In the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times, coverage of the economy as a percentage of each paper’s total coverage was at its highest in June and July.

There were two events that caused this high coverage: Obama’s “the private sector is doing just fine” comment in early June and the dismal jobs report that was released in early July that sparked intense criticism from Romney. In all five newspapers, there is a visible spike in the beginning of June and in the beginning of July. In the middle to end of June, we see a decline in coverage of the economy, but it picks up again at the start of July.

Charts show coverage of the economy over time, as a percentage of each newspapers total election coverage.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012

Charts show coverage of the economy over time, as a percentage of each newspapers total election coverage. Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012

While all five newspapers elevated their coverage of the economy in June and July, some did so more than others. In the New York Times and Boston Globe, coverage of the economy never surpassed 18% of their total election coverage. The topics of Candidate Character and Campaign Strategy were covered more than economy by both newspapers in June and July. A significant majority of this coverage was about Romney. The Globe especially covered Romney much more than Obama, and often with more negative sentiment.

In the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, more coverage was dedicated to the economy in June and July. In the Post and Journal, coverage of the economy got up to 30% and 50%, respectively. Both papers had sharp increases in economy coverage in early June, followed by a sharp drop at the end of the month, when coverage shifted due to aftermath of Obama’s Excecutive Order on immigration (June 15) and the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare (June 28). Once those two stories exited the airwaves, the June jobs report was released on July 6 and Romney opened fire on Obama, calling the report a “kick in the gut”. This line of attack re-ignited election coverage on the economy.

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Beyond the Candidates http://election2012.4thestate.net/statistical-comparison-of-the-candidates-to-other-newsmakers-election-2012-media-monitoring/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/statistical-comparison-of-the-candidates-to-other-newsmakers-election-2012-media-monitoring/#comments Fri, 25 Jan 2013 14:48:23 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3942 Today’s post breaks down the coverage of three different newsmakers: Obama, Romney, and everyone else (All Other Newsmakers) and their coverage on the economy. The chart below displays the percentage of each newsmaker’s discussion on the economy out of all discussion from that newsmaker.

The first, most apparent thing that jumps out is that Obama, Romney and All Other Newsmakers discuss the economy more (as a total percentage of statements from them), in the beginning of each month. This is a consequence of the release of monthly job reports, an early in the month event. With each jobs report came more discussion on the economy. As discussed by Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake in their post at the Washington Post and elsewhere, the jobs reports was considered of high importance in determining Obama’s chances against Romney.

Obama, Romney Spent More Airtime Discussing Economy Than Other Newsmakers

Chart shows discussion of economy over time by Obama, Romney and All Other Newsmakers.  Trend lines are based on percentage of discussion on economy out of total discussion from each newsmaker.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows discussion of economy over time by Obama, Romney and All Other Newsmakers. Trend lines are based on percentage of discussion on economy out of total discussion from each newsmaker. Time frame is May 1 – November 6, 2012.

Secondly, Obama and Romney consistently discussed the economy more that the rest. Surprisingly, Obama spent more of his airtime talking about the economy than Romney did. In early June and in early July, Obama spent significantly more of his airtime discussing the economy than any other newsmakers. In early June, Obama’s statement that “the private sector is doing just fine” got amplified in all media outlets, contributing to the sharp spike.

Romney, Obama Discussed Economy Most in June & July

Chart shows topic break down of discussion from Romney and Obama.  Time frame is June 1-July 31, 2012.

Chart shows topic break down of discussion from Romney and Obama. Time frame is June 1 – July 31, 2012.

When the June jobs report was released in early July, Romney was especially brutal toward Obama regarding the jobs numbers. While both Romney and Obama’s discussion of the economy increased significantly from June 29 – July 9, the discussion of the economy from Other Newsmakers did not increase to the same degree. The ‘economic’ battle transpired solely between the two candidates, while their statements were amplified and analyzed by the others in terms of overall campaign strategy.

June and July saw the largest gap in discussion of the economy between the candidates and other newsmakers. While Obama and Romney spent much of their airtime discussing the economy, the other newsmakers were focused on Campaign Strategy. Obama and Romney spent over one-quarter (28.2%) of their airtime discussing the economy from June 1 – July 30.

Other Newsmakers Discussed Strategy More Than Economy

Chart shows topic break down of discussion from newsmakers other than Romney and Obama.  Time frame is June 1-July 31, 2012.

Chart shows topic break down of discussion from newsmakers other than Romney and Obama. Time frame is June 1 – July 31, 2012.

In the same period of time, newsmakers other than Romney and Obama spoke about Campaign Strategy much more. Almost one-third (32.5%) of the airtime of other newsmakers was spent discussing Strategy, while only 17% was spent discussing the economy. This consisted of mainly TV analysts and commentators driving the summer coverage, while print coverage was on semi-hiatus.

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Election Coverage Wrap-Up: USA Today http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-coverage-wrap-up-usa-today/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-coverage-wrap-up-usa-today/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:34:46 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3966 This post is the continuation of our media monitoring series examining coverage behavior of various media outlets during Election 2012. Today’s post discusses the statistical data analysis of the topic, sourcing, and sentiment behaviors of USA Today.

Campaign Strategy Received Most Coverage

Chart shows break down of topics in election coverage in USA Today.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows break down of topics in election coverage in USA Today. Time frame is May 1 – November 6, 2012.

In USA Today’s election coverage from May to November, almost one-third (30.4%) was dedicated to Campaign Strategy. Stories about the tactics and exchanges between the campaigns like this one were common on USA Today’s front pages. USA Today covered Campaign Strategy 10% more than the average print outlet in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample. Economy was covered only 13.7% of the time and similar to most media outlets, Candidate Character was covered 18% of the time. Interestingly, USA Today focused very little on issues such as Entitlements, Foreign Policy and Taxes. They were well below the average amount of coverage among all print outlets on these three issues.

Romney Had More Favorable Coverage than Obama

Chart shows sentiment break down of election coverage in USA Today.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows sentiment break down of election coverage in USA Today. Time frame is May 1 – November 6, 2012.

The sentiment of USA Today’s election coverage from May to November was more favorable toward Romney. Romney received 3% less negative sentiment than Obama. He also received 1% more positive sentiment than Obama. USA Today’s coverage was slightly more favorable to Romney than the average print outlet in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample.

Among newsmakers outside of the campaigns, citizens had the highest VoiceShare in USA Today’s election coverage. Almost 40% of statements from those newsmakers came from citizens. Citizen VoiceShare increased drastically toward the end of the campaign in all print media. Among coverage from citizens, Obama received 5% more negative sentiment than did Romney. This high negative sentiment from citizens toward Obama was a contributing factor toward Obama’s overall unfavorable sentiment ratio.

Citizens Wrote Election Narrative in USA Today

Chart shows VoiceShare (share of coverage) among campaign newsmakers in USA Today’s election coverage.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows VoiceShare (share of coverage) among campaign newsmakers in USA Today’s election coverage. Time frame is May 1 – November 6, 2012.

Academics also had a high VoiceShare compared to the average print outlet. 13.8% of the coverage among newsmakers outside of the campaigns in USA Today came from Academics (political science professors, deans, etc.), almost double that of the average print outlet.

Romney Campaign Had Significant VoiceShare

Chart shows VoiceShare (share of coverage) among campaign newsmakers in election coverage in USA Today.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows VoiceShare (share of coverage) among campaign newsmakers in election coverage in USA Today. Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Among campaign newsmakers, Romney had the highest VoiceShare. Over one-quarter (25.8%) of the coverage in USA Today from campaign newsmakers was driven by Romney, with just 18.5% from Obama. Romney pollster Neil Newhouse also had significant VoiceShare among campaign newsmakers. He had much higher VoiceShare than Obama staffers David Axelrod and Ben Labolt. Paul Ryan also had significantly higher VoiceShare than his counterpart Joe Biden, with more than quadruple the amount of coverage. While granting a higher VoiceShare percentage to Romney as well as amplifying negative citizen newsmaker attitudes toward Obama, USA Today coverage was generally beneficial for the Romney campaign throughout the election cycle.

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Coverage of Social Issues Among Top Newspapers http://election2012.4thestate.net/coverage-of-social-issues-new-york-times-washington-post-la-times-wall-street-journal-boston-globe/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/coverage-of-social-issues-new-york-times-washington-post-la-times-wall-street-journal-boston-globe/#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2013 20:49:09 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3905 This post is the continuation of our media monitoring series examining coverage behavior during Election 2012. Today’s post discusses the statistical data analysis of the coverage of Social Issues among top print outlets.

In the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times, there were three identifiable periods of high coverage of Social Issues. Each period of coverage occurred around the same time in all five papers with slight variation.

The first period was in late April and early May. In the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, there were two coverage spikes during this period. The first spike was caused by Hilary Rosen’s take down of Ann Romney regarding her status as a privileged non-working mother and her knowledge (or lack thereof) of the economy. The second spike was from Biden and Obama’s announcements in early May regarding same-sex marriage. While the Boston Globe and New York Times coverage of Social Issues spiked after the same-sex marriage announcements in May, there was no visible spike in their coverage of Social Issues after Hilary Rosen’s comments in early April.

The second period of high coverage of Social Issues was consistent in all five newspapers. This occurred in late August, when Republican Senate hopeful Todd Akin made comments about “legitimate rape”. Akin’s comments were widely ridiculed (one of the more amusing parodies is here), both at the time and as the fall progressed including by members of the Republican media establishment, who called him ‘selfish swine’ among other things. The final spike, also consistent across all five newspapers, occurred in late October when Romney made his comment about “binders full of women” that launched a 1,000 tumblrs. He made this comment during the second Presidential debate, sparking a conversation about equal pay for women and the Lily Ledbetter Act.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

In the Journal, the LA Times, and the Washington Post, there were two distinct spikes in coverage of Social Issues in April and May. As mentioned earlier, the first spike was caused by Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney on April 11. This set off a firestorm about a woman’s role in the economy and motherhood. Following this coverage, there was a quick drop in coverage of Social Issues in each of the three newspapers; in each of these newspapers Campaign Strategy took its place. Just prior to Rosen’s comments, Santorum had dropped out of the race and the general election campaign between Romney and Obama had unofficially begun. Once the Hilary Rosen – Ann Romney storm passed, the Journal, LA Times, and Washington Post focused their coverage on how the Obama and Romney campaigns would raise money and approach the general election campaign. When Biden and Obama announced their support for same-sex marriage in early May, this triggered the second spike.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

Chart shows coverage of Social Issues over time. Time frame is Jan 1-Nov 6, 2012.

In the Boston Globe and NY Times, significant Social Issues coverage only occurred following Obama and Biden’s announcement about same-sex marriage. Hilary Rosen’s comments caused no significant spike in coverage like it did in the Journal, LA Times, and Washington Post. Similar to the Washington Post, the Boston Globe dedicated about 15% of their coverage to Social Issues following Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, whereas the other three newspapers were below 10%. Romney’s “binders full of women” comment prompted about the same amount of Social Issues coverage among the five newspapers.

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The Language of Election 2012 http://election2012.4thestate.net/the-language-of-election-2012-between-obama-and-romney/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/the-language-of-election-2012-between-obama-and-romney/#comments Tue, 15 Jan 2013 17:26:36 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3885 This post is the continuation of our media monitoring series examining coverage behavior during Election 2012. Today’s post discusses the statistical data analysis of the language used in coverage of the GOP Primary and the General Election.

In coverage of the GOP Primary, from January 1 – April 30, the most commonly used words were “Romney”, “president”, “people”, “Obama”, and “going”. Clearly, Romney was the most discussed person during the GOP primary. Romney and the other GOP candidates also frequently mentioned President Obama. Obama’s name was always wrapped up within their arguments for why he should not get a second term. These data points clearly demonstrate that all of the GOP candidates were running against the tandem of Romney and Obama – in some ways they were accurately forecasting the eventual candidates in the general election. The frequency of the term “going” is probably evidence of any political campaign, with the candidates routinely suggesting what they were “going” to do as President.

GOP Primary Coverage Word Cloud

Word Cloud displays top 100 words using in election coverage of GOP Primary.  Word size signifies frequency in coverage.  Stop words like “think” and “know” are excluded.  Time frame is January 1 - April 30, 2012.

Word Cloud displays top 100 words used in GOP Primary. Word size signifies frequency in coverage. Stop words like “think” and “know” are excluded. Time frame is January 1 -April 30, 2012.

Romney, Santorum, Gingrich Dominated GOP Primary

Chart shows VoiceShare of newsmakers in GOP Primary coverage.  Only top 15 newsmakers shown.  Time frame is January 1-April 30, 2012.

Chart shows VoiceShare of newsmakers in GOP Primary coverage. Only top 15 newsmakers shown. Time frame is January 1 – April 30, 2012.

Many top words from GOP Primary coverage are associated with the Republican candidates themselves, showing that while they often attacked Obama, they also attacked each other. The words “conservative”, “republicans”, “republican”, “nominee” are among the most common. Also, “Santorum” and “Gingrich”, as Romney’s toughest competition in the race, made it into the top 100 words. There is also clear evidence of Election 2012’s cornerstone issue: the economy. Statements from the candidates were peppered with the words “economy, “money”, “tax”, and “jobs”.

Among newsmakers who contributed to the GOP Primary coverage, Mitt Romney unsurprisingly ranked highest. He had over 12% VoiceShare in all election coverage of the GOP Primary. He drove the frequency of many of the words in the above cloud. The other two candidates whose names were among the most common, Santorum and Gingrich, came in at second and third in our final candidate VoiceShare tally.

General Election Coverage Word Cloud

Word Cloud displays top 100 words using in election coverage of the General Election.  Word size signifies frequency in coverage.  Common words “think” and “know” are excluded.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Word Cloud displays top 100 words used in the General Election. Word size signifies frequency in coverage. Stop words like “think” and “know” are excluded. Time frame is May 1 – November 6, 2012.

The common words in coverage of the general election, from May 1 – November 6, are slightly different than those from the GOP Primary. The word “Obama” is shown in larger font in this cloud, signifying a higher frequency. “Romney” is in larger font than “Obama”, reinforcing our 4th Estate data that Romney was more frequently discussed than Obama was. The focus on the economy is more present in this cloud with the words “jobs”, “money”, “tax”, “taxes”, and “economy” being displayed in larger font than before, indicating that “economy’ took on a greater presence within the general election . Other issues that were more prevalent within the general election are also present – such as “medicare”. The presence of the word “Ryan” is evidence of Paul Ryan’s entrance into the race as Romney’s running mate. Ryan’s entrance into the race also increased the discussion of such topics as medicare. The presence of the word “percent” is evidence of the extent of Romney’s gaffe about the “47 percent”. That comment was syndicated and amplified by many news outlets in print, television and radio.

Obama, Romney Most Heavily Influenced Narrative

Chart shows VoiceShare of newsmakers in General Election coverage.  Only top 15 newsmakers shown.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows VoiceShare of newsmakers in General Election coverage. Only top 15 newsmakers shown. Time frame is May 1 – November 6, 2012.

Just like in the GOP Primary, Mitt Romney had the highest VoiceShare in coverage of the general election. Over one-third (36%) of the statements in coverage from May to November came from him. Obama gained significant VoiceShare during the general election (as compared to the GOP rpimary) as the race turned into a battle between him and Romney. Overall the VoiceShare slanted heavily toward the two candidates, with 60.4% of the statements from May to November coming from them. In this regard, Obama and Romney are the primary drivers of these word clouds as a majority of the most commonly word used were from Obama and Romney themselves.

Finally, it is interesting to analyze these clouds in the context of negative campaigning. It is popularly regarded that the tone of this campaign was extremely negative, even by historical standards. Even taking into account that stop words like “no” and “not” have been
excluded from the data, there is a complete absence of negative key words within these clouds. This highlights the deft touch with which the candidates undermine their opponents, and attack them when they are on the campaign trail. They do not use direct attacking language, filled with ‘negative words’. Instead, they couch their attacks in everyday language, that can’t come back to haunt them – such as a word cloud revealing their propensity for aggressive or negative terms. We have not analyzed the data, but it would be interesting to perform a word cloud of the collected commercials of each campaign to see how they compare to our news coverage clouds.

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Election Coverage Wrap-Up: Boston Globe vs Chicago Tribune http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-coverage-wrap-up-boston-globe-vs-chicago-tribune/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-coverage-wrap-up-boston-globe-vs-chicago-tribune/#comments Thu, 10 Jan 2013 14:43:04 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3859 This post is the continuation of our media monitoring series examining coverage behavior of various media outlets during Election 2012. Today’s post discusses the statistical data analysis of the sentiment and topic behaviors of the Chicago Tribune & the Boston Globe.

Globe Coverage Quite Unfavorable To Romney

Chart shows sentiment of election coverage by the <em>Boston Globe</em>.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows sentiment of election coverage by the Boston Globe. Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Today we are looking at the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune as the two primary newspapers in the states where Obama and Romney had significant impact early in their careers. Obama was a community organizer in Chicago while Romney was the former Governor of Massachusetts. We will examine how each newspaper treated their “hometown” candidate.

In election coverage by the Boston Globe, Mitt Romney received more negative coverage than Obama. Almost 15% of the election coverage from May to November was negative to Romney. He received 5% more negative than positive coverage. This was a consistent trend of The Globe throughout the campaign. Romney consistently received negative coverage from the Globe during the general election campaign and the GOP Primary.

Globe Coverage Very Negative On Romney’s Character

Chart shows topic and sentiment distribution of coverage about Romney in the <em>Boston Globe</em>.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows topic and sentiment distribution of coverage about Romney in the Boston Globe. Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

In the Globe’s coverage of Romney, most negative coverage was about Character. Romney also received significant negative coverage in the discussion of his Campaign Strategy. This is linked to many of the hiccups late in the Romney campaign that drew criticism from many newsmakers, including fellow Republicans. In coverage of fiscal issues such as the Economy, Taxes and Entitlements, Romney also received more negative than positive coverage. The only topics in which Romney received more positive than negative coverage were discussion of Horse Race and the Debates.

Tribune Coverage Unfavorable to Obama

Chart shows sentiment of election coverage by the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows sentiment of election coverage by the Chicago Tribune. Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

In election coverage by the Chicago Tribune, Obama did not fare well. Obama received more than twice as much negative than positive coverage. He had only a slightly more favorable sentiment ratio than Romney. The trend of Obama receiving negative coverage from his hometown paper was consistent throughout the summer.

Obama Received Significant Negative Coverage in the Tribune on Economy

Chart shows topic and sentiment distribution of coverage about Obama in the <em>Boston Globe</em>.  Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

Chart shows topic and sentiment distribution of coverage about Obama in the Boston Globe. Time frame is May 1-November 6, 2012.

In the Tribune’s coverage of Obama, he received the most negative coverage on the Economy. Over three-quarters of Obama’s coverage on the Economy was negative toward him. Obama also received significant negative coverage in discussion of his Character, Immigration, Entitlements, Foreign Policy and Budget. Only in the topics of Campaign Strategy, Social Issues, Terrorism and Fundraising did Obama manage to receive more positive than negative coverage.

Even though each candidate ascended to their candidacy by succeeding in their careers in Illinois (Obama) and Massachusetts (Romney), the newspapers in each did not provide “morale support” for their hometown candidate.

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Election Coverage Wrap-Up: NPR http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-2012-media-monitoring-statistical-data-npr-coverage/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-2012-media-monitoring-statistical-data-npr-coverage/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2013 13:38:03 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3838 This post is the continuation of our media monitoring series examining coverage behavior of various media outlets during Election 2012. Today’s post discusses the statistical data analysis of the sourcing and sentiment behaviors of NPR’s Morning Edition & All Things Considered with a focus on citizen newsmakers.

In election coverage by NPR’s Morning Edition & All Things Considered from May to November, citizens had the highest VoiceShare among newsmakers outside of the campaigns. Over 25% of the statements in their election coverage among non-campaign newsmakers came from citizens.

Citizens Had High VoiceShare in NPR and Print Coverage

Chart shows coverage by NPR, Print and TV outlets in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample broken down by newsmaker type.  Campaign newsmakers excluded.  Only top 5 newsmaker types shown.  Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Chart shows coverage by NPR, Print and TV outlets in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample broken down by newsmaker type. Campaign newsmakers excluded. Only top 5 newsmaker types shown. Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Among print outlets in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample, citizen newsmakers had similar VoiceShare at just under 25% of all statements among non-campaign newsmakers. Citizen VoiceShare among print outlets increased significantly toward the end of the campaign. In television, citizen newsmakers did not make it into the top five of VoiceShare. The bulk of television coverage among non-campaign newsmakers was driven by political analysts and commentators. While in print coverage citizens received more VoiceShare later in the campaign, in election coverage by NPR programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered from May to November, citizens consistently had high VoiceShare.

Citizens Received More Coverage on Candidate Character on NPR

Chart shows break down of statements from citizen newsmakers in NPR and Print by topic.  Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Chart shows break down of statements from citizen newsmakers in NPR and Print by topic. Time frame is May 1-November 6.

In both print and NPR, citizens discussed campaign topics such as Horse Race and Strategy most, but where they differed most was in discussion of candidate character. In NPR coverage, citizens discussed Character much more than in print coverage, by almost 10% more.

Obama Received Much More Favorable Coverage From Citizens In NPR

Chart shows break down of statements from citizen newsmakers in NPR and Print by sentiment.  Neutral statements not shown.  Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Chart shows break down of statements from citizen newsmakers in NPR and Print by sentiment. Neutral statements not shown. Time frame is May 1-November 6.

The largest contrast in election coverage from citizens in NPR and print outlets comes when we look at sentiment toward the candidates. In NPR coverage, Obama has much more favorable sentiment among citizen newsmakers. He received more positive coverage than Romney did, and also less negative coverage than Romney. However, print coverage told a different story. Among coverage from citizens in print outlets in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample from May to November, Obama had almost 2% more negative coverage than Romney. Obama had just slightly more positive coverage than Romney, unlike in NPR coverage where he had almost 3% more positive coverage among citizens.

While NPR programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered and print outlets in 4th Estate’s statistical data sample all had significant election coverage from citizen newsmakers, the topic and sentiment of that coverage was not always the same. Citizens discussed candidate character much more in NPR coverage and were also much more favorable toward Obama.

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Election Coverage Wrap-Up: Los Angeles Times http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-2012-media-monitoring-statistical-analysis-los-angeles-times/ http://election2012.4thestate.net/election-2012-media-monitoring-statistical-analysis-los-angeles-times/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2013 14:10:49 +0000 4th Estate http://3.3817 This post is the continuation of our media monitoring series examining coverage behavior of various media outlets during Election 2012. Today’s post discusses the statistical data analysis of the sourcing and sentiment behaviors of the Los Angeles Times.

LA Times Coverage Was More Favorable to Obama

Chart shows sentiment of election coverage in the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>.  Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Chart shows sentiment of election coverage in the Los Angeles Times. Time frame is May 1-November 6.

In election coverage by the Los Angeles Times from May to November, Obama had more favorable coverage than Romney, as well as less negative coverage. In most other print outlets, Romney had a considerably better sentiment ratio. In the New York Times, for instance, Obama had much more negative, and much less positive coverage than Romney. The fact that the LA Times had even slightly more favorable coverage toward Obama makes it an outlier.

Romney & Campaign Dominated VoiceShare

Chart shows VoiceShare among newsmakers in <em>LA Times</em> election coverage.  Only top 15 newsmakers shown.  Time frame is from May 1-November 6.

Chart shows VoiceShare among newsmakers in LA Times election coverage. Only top 15 newsmakers shown. Time frame is from May 1-November 6.

This becomes more surprising when we look at the top newsmakers. In the LA Times’ coverage of the election from May-November, Romney had a much higher VoiceShare than Obama. He received almost double the coverage than Obama. Romney staff also received more coverage than Obama’s staff; Paul Ryan had a 2.3% VoiceShare while Biden ‘s was just 0.7%. Additionally, Ann Romney and anonymous Romney staffers received more coverage than their Obama counterparts. One would think that with all of this coverage, Romney and his campaign would have been able to influence coverage and swing the sentiment needle to their favor.

Romney Criticized Heavily by Analysts

Chart shows VoiceShare among newsmakers in <em>LA Times</em> election coverage, broken down by party affiliation and filtered only for coverage negative to Romney.  Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Chart shows VoiceShare among newsmakers in LA Times election coverage, broken down by party affiliation and filtered only for coverage negative to Romney. Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Instead, the sentiment of the 3rd-party newsmakers (those outside of the campaigns) in the LA Times coverage did in Romney. Over 60% of the negative coverage toward Romney came from these 3rd-party newsmakers. Among those newsmakers, analysts and commentators were the most brutal toward Romney; 31.3% of Romney’s negative coverage came from these two groups. Partisans and former politicians were also negative toward Romney, with almost 20% of Romney’s negative coverage coming from these newsmaker groups. Interestingly, over one quarter (25.5%) of the negative coverage of Romney by partisans and former politicians came from Republicans. Using the weight of negative sentiment by other sources besides candidates is something we saw in a different form in yesterday’s analysis of the Wall Street Journal.

Republicans Were Critical of Romney’s Strategy and Character

Chart shows breakdown of election coverage by the <em>LA Times</em> that was negative to Romney by topic and Party Affiliation.  Time frame is May 1-November 6.

Chart shows breakdown of election coverage by the LA Times that was negative to Romney by topic and Party Affiliation. Time frame is May 1-November 6.

When we break down Romney’s sources of negative coverage by topic among newsmakers outside of the campaigns, we learn that over one-third (37.1%) was about Strategy and over one-quarter (25.9%) was about Character. In the final stretches of the campaign, Romney received significant negative coverage on his Strategy in many outlets, not only the LA Times. In the LA Times coverage, fellow Republicans were especially harsh toward Romney on his Strategy and Character. His “47%” comment, the Jeep ad, and other miscues drew harsh rebukes from the GOP. The extent to which Republicans went negative toward Romney on his Strategy and Character became clear in this post election analysis.

While Romney and his team carried significant influence in the LA Times election coverage, their dominance in VoiceShare was not enough to drown out the other myriad of voices that cast criticism on the GOP candidate. Surprisingly among these voices were fellow Republicans, who threw Romney under the bus after the election for what they perceived to be a weak campaign strategy.

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