Trump Is Getting Historically Bad Press: Report

Media coverage of his first 100 days is historically negative, new report says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2017 12:39 PM CDT
Trump Is Getting Historically Bad Press
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on Sunday in Riyadh.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

If it seems President Trump gets almost nothing but bad press, you're not imagining things: A new report from Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy finds that the media coverage of Trump's first 100 days in office is historically negative. The report analyzed print editions of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; the main newscasts from CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC; plus the UK's Financial Times and BBC and Germany's public service broadcaster ARD. Interestingly, the report points out, during his presidential campaign, "Trump received far more coverage, and far more positive coverage, than did his Republican rivals." That changed when he got the nomination. Key findings from his first 100 days in office:

  • On national TV, 41% of all news stories were about Trump; that's three times higher than previous presidents experienced.
  • In TV broadcasts about him, Trump himself accounted for 65% of the sound bites. Overall, Republicans accounted for 80% of the sound bites, with the rest coming from Democrats (6%), protesters (3%), the FBI (1%), and "other" (10%).
  • A whopping 80% of media coverage of Trump with a "clear tone" during his first 100 days was negative; compare that to 57% for George W. Bush. During the worst week for Trump, 90% of coverage was negative. The percentage of negative coverage never dropped below 70%.
  • Even on Fox News, 52% of coverage of Trump that was clearly skewed was negative. All other outlets analyzed were 70% negative or higher.
  • There was no one major topic for which coverage of Trump was more positive than negative, which the report says sets "a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president."
  • While just 3% of US news reports about Trump directly questioned whether he's fit for office, European news reports were much more likely to raise the question. ARD, for example, devoted 20% of its Trump coverage in January to the question. And 98% of the time the question was raised by ARD, the answer was no.
Click for the full report. (More President Trump stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.