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.
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.
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.
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.
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.