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.
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.
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.
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.