On May 3 we posited the question “Were Murdoch and NewsCorp Slanted in Favor of Romney and Against Gingrich?”. This was in response to Gingrich’s claim that “Fox has been for Romney all the way through”. The data that NewsCorp’s coverage of Gingrich was indeed more negative than Romney’s. We decided to follow up on the question of whether this was indicative of an isolated bias on the part of NewsCorp or whether other media corporations reflected similar negative sentiments toward Newt.

 

Chart shows sentiment distribution of statements about Newt Gingrich from top five corporations that covered him. Time frame is January 2 - May 1. Excludes statements from Gingrich about himself.

Chart shows sentiment distribution of statements about Newt Gingrich from top five corporations that covered him. Time frame is January 2 - May 1. Excludes statements from Gingrich about himself.

The data revealed that Washington Post Company actually amplified 4% more negative coverage of Gingrich than did NewsCorp. The majority of this sentiment was projected via the Washington Post. Among the other top five media corporations to cover Gingrich, there was slightly more positive sentiment. Cox Enterprises projected the most positive sentiment about Gingrich, with 35% of total statements from newsmakers other than Gingrich being positive. This is not surprising as Cox Enterprises owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newspaper of Gingrich’s home state that covered Gingrich significantly more than other candidates. (See post here: “Gingrich Was Hometown Hero But Didn’t Make a Splash Elsewhere”). NPR was most balanced in their coverage of Gingrich. They projected only 10% more negative than positive coverage of Gingrich, the most evenly distributed positive-negative ratio of any other major media corporation.