Coverage Of Trump Overwhelmingly Negative, Well Sourced Too


Press coverage of Donald J. Trump’s first 60 days in office had a clear negative bias vs. the first 60 days of coverage of other U.S. presidents, but that doesn’t mean it was inaccurate, according to a report released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

The report, “Covering President Trump in a Polarized Media Environment,” estimates nearly two-thirds (62%) of Trump’s first 60 days was negative. That’s nearly three times the level of negative news coverage skews for other recent presidents and compares with only 20% negative for Barack Obama, and 28% each for George W. Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s first 60 days in office.

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Despite the disproportionately negative skew, it doesn’t mean it was inaccurate. In fact, the Pew analysis finds that the news media outlets that have been most negative about Trump’s presidency -- so-called “left-leaning” news outlets -- were generally more thoroughly sourced than “right-leaning” and neutral-leaning news outlets.

The study found that 70% of Trump’s coverage on left-leaning news outlets utilized two or more sources, while only 44% of right-leaning news outlets were that thoroughly sourced.

Only 4% of left-leaning news outlet coverage was unsourced, vs. 15% of right-leaning news outlets.

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