Media Coverage of the Democratic primary debate

What is the media saying about last week’s Democratic primary debate? 


FiveThirtyEight reports that Sen. Kamala Harris saw a marked increase in coverage by different media outlets. Data from TV News Archives and Media Cloud respectively showed a twofold and close to 10% increase in the amount of cable and online news coverage of Harris, while former vice president Joe Biden saw a reduction in cable and online news coverage. However, Dhrumil Mehta cautions that it remains unclear if Harris’ spike in media coverage came at the expense of Biden’s, and if Harris will be able to sustain her increased media coverage.

Share of 15-second cable news clips mentioning each candidate vs. share of online stories mentioning each candidate in a Media Cloud search (Source: FiveThirtyEight)

CABLE TV CLIPS THE WEEK OF …

ONLINE STORIES THE WEEK OF …

CANDIDATE
JUNE 16
JUNE 23
DIFF.
JUNE 16
JUNE 23
DIFF.
Joe Biden
55.6%
37.9%
-17.7
56.6%
45.1%
-11.5
Elizabeth Warren
15.5
15.3
-0.3
32.4
42.2
+9.9
Bernie Sanders
14.6
14.4
-0.2
33.8
41.4
+7.7
Kamala Harris
7.0
16.8
+9.8
22.1
33.4
+11.3
Cory Booker
12.6
6.1
-6.5
25.2
25.8
+0.5
Pete Buttigieg
5.5
6.9
+1.4
22.3
24.7
+2.3
Julian Castro
0.6
4.8
+4.2
6.9
20.1
+13.2
Amy Klobuchar
0.9
2.3
+1.3
8.6
15.6
+7.0
Bill de Blasio
1.2
2.3
+1.1
9.3
15.5
+6.2
Kirsten Gillibrand
0.9
0.6
-0.3
7.0
12.7
+5.7
Eric Swalwell
0.8
1.7
+0.9
4.5
12.4
+7.8
Marianne Williamson
0.2
1.2
+1.0
4.0
12.2
+8.2
Jay Inslee
0.7
1.5
+0.9
4.4
12.1
+7.7
Tulsi Gabbard
0.3
1.5
+1.2
3.3
11.8
+8.5
John Delaney
0.3
1.4
+1.1
3.7
10.6
+6.9
Tim Ryan
1.2
1.8
+0.6
3.4
10.5
+7.1
Andrew Yang
1.0
0.9
-0.1
4.1
9.9
+5.8
Beto O’Rourke
2.3
6.1
+3.8
3.5
9.0
+5.5
Michael Bennet
0.4
0.7
+0.4
3.6
8.6
+5.0
John Hickenlooper
0.5
0.7
+0.2
4.2
8.5
+4.2
Seth Moulton
0.2
0.1
+0.0
3.0
2.5
-0.5
Steve Bullock
0.4
0.4
+0.0
3.6
2.2
-1.4
Mike Gravel
0.0
0.0
+0.0
1.2
1.1
-0.1

Includes all candidates that qualify as “major” in FiveThirtyEight’s rubric. Each network’s daily news coverage is chopped up into 15-second clips, and each clip that includes a candidate’s name is counted as one mention. For both cable and online news, our search queries look for an exact match for each candidate’s name, except for Julian Castro, for whom our search query is “Julian Castro” OR “Juli├ín Castro”. Media Cloud searches use two of the database’s publication lists: “top online news” and “digital native” publications.
SOURCES: INTERNET ARCHIVE’S TELEVISION NEWS ARCHIVE VIA THE GDELT PROJECT, MEDIA CLOUD
If you want to get your hands dirty, the data analyzed by FiveThirtyEight in their series of stories about how often 2020 Democratic candidates are mentioned in cable news can be found at their GitHub. The data is updated online weekly. 
Further reading:
Eunice Yau

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