Tone of Media Coverage of Bush and Kerry Debates, 2004
The tone of the press coverage of the debates in 2004 was highly negative for Presidential Bush. Nearly 60% of the stories were critical of the President, more than twice the percentage for challenger John Kerry.
Tone of Media Coverage of Bush and Gore Debates, 2000
The tone of all media stories both about Gore and those focused more on Bush tended to be negative in 2000, but Gore’s coverage was more so. Bush stories were also nearly twice as likely to be positive as were those about Gore.
How the Media Framed the Campaign
The dominant frame in the press coverage of the presidential debates of 2004 was on the impact of the debates on the horse race. , followed by a straight forward account of what the candidates said.
Sourcing of Campaign Stories on Online News Sites
Different online news sites approached covering the debates of 2004 differently, but of the major ones, only MSNBC had a significant number of original bylined stories.
How Newspapers Framed the Race
In print, the impact of the debates on the horse race was still a dominant theme, but regional papers were more likely to simply report what the candidates said than national papers were, and other themes got more attention than they did on television.
The End of “Network News”
What happened this summer, and particularly last week, is likely to be recalled as the end of the era of network news. At the very least, mark this as the moment when the networks abdicated their authority with the American public.
Positive and Negative Themes by Candidate
The press coverage leading up to the conventions in 2004 tended to focus on Bush, both positive and negative character themes. There was little about comparatively little about John Kerry and most of it tended to be negative.
Character and the Campaign
If presidential campaigns are about character and control of message, neither candidate has had much success so far, a new PEJ study finds.
Character Themes and Associations with the Candidates
The character themes embedded in the coverage of the candidates in the spring leading up to the conventions tended to emphasize negative attributes of George Bush and John Kerry.
Appearance of Character Themes and Rebuttals
For both Sen. Kerry and President Bush, rebuttals of the dominant themes of the campaign were not frequent. The charge of Kerry being liberal received the most rebuttals.