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 San Francisco Chronicle.
From May 1-November 6, 2012, coverage of the election in the San Francisco Chronicle focused heavily on Social Issues. While Campaign Issues consisted of a large portion of coverage (38.3% of statements) as was the case across the entire 4th Estate Project sample, Social Issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and women’s rights made up 16.5% of coverage. This was significantly more than the average news outlet in the sample. Among all outlets in 4th Estate’s sample, an average of just 5.1% of news content during the election was about Social Issues.
In the coverage of Social Issues in the Chronicle, Obama had the highest VoiceShare (share of coverage) of any individual newsmaker. Over 10% of statements in the Chronicle about Social Issues came from Obama. Obama’s announcement about his support for gay marriage and various discourses on women’s rights and contraception were picked up and amplified by the Chronicle.
We can see how much the Chronicle amplified Obama on Social Issues by comparing the coverage to their coverage on other topics. Among election coverage from the Chronicle on topics other than Social Issues, Mitt Romney had a much higher VoiceShare than Obama. This higher VoiceShare was a pattern that we saw across most news outlets in our sample. In the Chronicle coverage of topics other than Social Issues, Obama had 8.1% and Romney 12.5% VoiceShare. In other words, while Romney had a larger VoiceShare on all topics besides Social Issues in the Chronicle’s election coverage, Obama as the most amplified voice on Social Issues was an interesting outlier in our statistical data that was not present at other media outlets.