Study: Fox News, MSNBC more 'extreme' in final week of campaign
November 20th, 2012
02:17 PM ET
6 years ago

Study: Fox News, MSNBC more 'extreme' in final week of campaign

(CNN) – A new study finds the discrepancy between Fox News and MSNBC's coverage of the two presidential candidates differed most substantially during the final week of the campaign compared to the rest of the press' coverage of the election.

While the study, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, shows two cable news channels differed from the rest of the media's coverage about the candidates throughout the election, the difference was more pronounced from October 29 through November 5, the final week of the campaign.

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"In the final week of the campaign, both Fox News and MSNBC became even more extreme in how they differed from the rest of the press in coverage of the two candidates," said the Pew Research Center about this portion of the study's findings.

"Fox News was much more positive about (Mitt) Romney than the press as a whole and substantially more negative about (President Barack) Obama. MSNBC was even more overwhelmingly negative about Romney and offered mostly positive coverage about Obama."

The study indicates Fox News' negative coverage of Obama grew from 47% in the first four weeks of October to 56% in the final week, while positive coverage of Romney grew eight points, from 34% to 42%, in the final week.

Meanwhile on MSNBC, positive coverage of Obama grew from 33% during the first four weeks of October to 51% in the last week. MSNBC's negative coverage of Romney increased 11 points in the last week, from 57% to 68%.

In the final week of the campaign, news focused around Superstorm Sandy, its devastating effect on the East Coast and emergency response on both the federal and local level. Overall, the president received more positive coverage during the final week while the tone of Romney's coverage remained similar to previous weeks. The study stated the storm appeared to reduce the amount of coverage Romney received leading up to the election and may have influenced attitudes about Obama.

The study was conducted from October 22 through November 5, the last 15 days of the campaign, among 660 stories from 49 mainstream outlets.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Luke,AZ

    MSNBC's "negative" coverage of Gov. Romney was proportional to his degree of lying. MSNBC was reporting on people being dis-enfranchised through voter suppression laws in Ohio back in June. I give props to MSNBC for keeping the spotlight on Republican dirty tricks around the country.

    November 20, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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