Media coverage statistics for election 2016

Headline samples show US mainstream media effectively blacklists Green Party in election coverage

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By Shawn Gay

June 28, 2016
El Paso, Texas, USA

The mainstream media outlets in the United States continue to offer essentially no coverage of third party campaigns this election year. In particular, the Green Party coverage is next to zero. A sampling this morning (June 28, 2016) of eight news and news aggregate sites, Google News, Bing News, Yahoo News, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News show the following average percentage of references to the various candidates on the eight sites:

  • Jill Stein, Green Party: 0%
  • Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party: 0.5%
  • Bernie Sanders, Democratic Party: 4.3%
  • Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party: 40.8%
  • Donald Trump, Republican Party: 54.5%

 

Candidate percentages as referenced on eight news sites

Broken down by third-party versus Republicans and Democrats, the percentages are:

  • Third-party references: 0.5%
  • Democratic party references: 45.1%
  • Republican party references: 54.5%

 

Overall share of election coverage by party

The sample included almost 500 headlines from the eight news sites, averaging about 60 headlines on each site. The method used was to go the election or politics page on each site, scroll to the bottom and count the total number of headlines. Then, each candidates last name was searched for all references on the page. For Stein and Johnson, the party names “Green” and “Libertarian” were also searched to try and find as many references as possible. The fraction of all of the candidate references was calculated for each candidate on each site. Then the average fraction of references was calculated over all eight sites for the candidates which are the statistics stated in this report.

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