Today’s Sunday spotlight focuses on the patterns of the coverage of the San Francisco Chronicle during the general election. For the purpose of all the charts in this post, we selected feature articles from the front page of the San Francisco specifically covering the campaign between the time frame of April 15th to August 15th.
Republican & Democrat VoiceShare
Breakdown of Democrat and Republican voices in the coverage of San Francisco Chronicle during the time period. April 15 – August 15.
NOTE: We are presenting this data as an interesting contrast to the main findings in our most recent infographic on Liberal Media Bias. We first compare the Chronicle coverage as regards to partisan VoiceShare percentage similar to the data presented in the top section of the bias infographic. Similar to how the coverage for the Detroit Free Press was different from many other traditional print publications as shown in last Sunday’s spotlight, the Chronicle has amplified more Democrat voices, as opposed to the media as a whole in the infographic which showed Republicans have enjoyed an almost 50% higher percentage of representation as sources. The ratio is almost 8-5 favoring Democrats. What is also interesting about the Chronicle’s coverage is that the overall percentage of partisan voices as a whole is much larger than the average. A full 65% of the voices are partisan while this number is closer to 40-50% for most other papers and as a whole. For example, the Detroit Free Press percentage was 62% (which we should note again was a small sample).
Sentiment Toward Obama & Romney
Breakdown of sentiment toward Obama and Romney as captured in the coverage of the San Francisco Chronicle during the time period. April 15 – August 15.
In terms of a sentiment pattern, the Chronicle is markedly different, as well, from the patterns presented in our Liberal Media Bias infographic. Just from these numbers, the Chronicle does display a sentiment pattern that the Romney campaign could accuse of being biased. The postive and negative sentments toward Obama are relatively balanced, and they are at the same level as the negative sentimetn toward Romney. However, the positive sentiment toward Romney is almost one quarter the values of these other sentiments. A number of critics of the Bias infographic could not believe the numbers were accurate, and they raised the coverage of Romney’s trip abroad as ‘anecdotal’ evidence. We tried to make clear that this trip was not part of the data in the graphic. That trip is covered in the data in this post, but it is a small data point in explaining the differences between the Chronicle and the overall print media.
Newsmaker Type Sourcing Patterns
Breakdown of newsmaker source patterns covered by San Francisco Chronicle during the time period. April 15 – August 15.
Finally, when we look at the general newsmaker type breakdown in Chronicle reporting, we again see some patterns that suggest a bias toward Democrat sources. When one combines the White House and Obama campaign staff, they are sourced at a 2-1 rate more than Romney’s campaign and staff. This pattern is different from what we are seeing across most of the other mainstream media in our sample, and different from the pattern recognized in last Sunday’s spotlight on Detroit Free Press.