Chart shows sentiment of statements in election coverage by the Chicago Tribune.  Time frame is May 1 – August 18.

Chart shows sentiment of statements in election coverage by the Chicago Tribune. Time frame is May 1 – August 18.

Since May, election coverage in the Chicago Tribune has been very negative to Obama. Romney and Ryan piled on the negative coverage last week, but negativity toward Obama has been an ongoing theme stretching back prior to last week’s Romney-Ryan tag-teaming.

Since May 1st, the big newspaper of Obama’s former home city, the Chicago Tribune, has been amplifying the majority of its negative coverage about Obama. Over 12% of statements in the Tribune from May 1 to August 18 have been negative to Obama. Even though Obama has received slightly more positive coverage from the Tribune than has Romney in this time period, he has received double the negativity.

Chart shows percentage of statements in election coverage by the Chicago Tribune, broken down by newsmaker and sentiment.  Time frame is August 11-18.

Chart shows percentage of statements in election coverage by the Chicago Tribune, broken down by newsmaker and sentiment. Time frame is August 11-18.

One might think that this is due to the bump in GOP VoiceShare in election coverage last week after Romney announced Ryan to be his running mate, and that their negative statements toward Obama were amplified, thus skewing the data set. Indeed, statements from Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney consisted of 23% of the Chicago Tribune’s election coverage last week, and a significant portion of their statements were negative to Obama (30%).

However, negative coverage toward Obama in the Chicago Tribune actually made up a larger slice of their overall coverage before Ryan was picked. From May 1 to August 10, negative coverage toward Obama made up 14.4% of the Tribune’s coverage. When we include last week’s coverage of Romney and Ryan dominating the Tribune’s front page, negative coverage toward Obama makes up less of the coverage by 2%. Therefore, with or without last week’s Romney-Ryan tag-teaming, Obama has been receiving significant negative coverage from the Chicago Tribune.

Chart shows percentage of statements in election coverage by the Chicago Tribune, broken down by sentiment.  Percentage of neutral statements for each time period is not shown in the chart.

Chart shows percentage of statements in election coverage by the Chicago Tribune, broken down by sentiment. Percentage of neutral statements for each time period is not shown in the chart.