United States--2012 FDA Presidential Election Media Study

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2012 FDA media study of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. This 76-page study covers the U.S. national press, radio, and television sectors (including online content), and utilizes 7,924 data …

2012 FDA media study of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. This 76-page study covers the U.S. national press, radio, and television sectors (including online content), and utilizes 7,924 data points. A full report can be purchased at www.democracychange.org

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  • 1. FDA Media Study of the 2012 American Presidential ElectionExecutive SummaryThe FDA measured significant bias in total campaign news coverage for Barack Obamaover Mitt Romney, 54 percent to 44.75 percent and almost non-existent campaigncoverage of third-party presidential candidates. As examples, only one day in the last 32days of the American presidential election did Romney have more news coverage thanObama, and Obama had overall more positive news coverage and less negative newscoverage than Romney. The FDA‟s total measurements correlate exactly in ranking tothe U.S. popular vote results, and very similar in terms of percentages of candidates‟coverage and percentages of candidates‟ popular votes with an average deviation of1.07 percent. The FDA Media Study pertains to the last 32 days of the 2012 AmericanPresidential Election. The FDA data collectors tracked media biases in the U.S. nationalnewspaper, radio, and television sectors including online content, and collected 7,924data points. The FDA data is based on 47.66 percent of the national newspaper market,21.91 percent of the radio news/talk/information market, and 97.72 percent of theNational News Networks, Cable News, and Public News market. Overall, the FDAmedia study presents significant evidence that the U.S. national media limited electoraldiscourse and influenced the 2012 U.S. presidential election outcome, rather than fullyinform the American electorate about their electoral choices. Based on the 2012 FDAElectoral Fairness Audit Report on the U.S. and the media study measurements, theFDA recommends that the American national media be regulated through legislatedCode of Conduct during the 60 and 30 day federal electioneering periods, in order tosupport broad and balanced electoral discourse, and a fully informed electorate.Presently, the American federal electoral system allows U.S. national mediacompanies/programs/shows to have an unregulated and imbalanced influence onelectoral discourse, and ultimately undue influence on federal election outcomes,thereby undermining American democracy. Media Study Completed December 17, 2012
  • 2. Prepared ByMr. Stephen Garvey, Executive Director Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia and Master of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.Purpose of the Media StudyThe purpose of the Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA)‟s media study (the Study) isto determine the percentage of election coverage by major media for the five Americanpresidential candidates. This Study is an extension of the FDA‟s 2012 electoral fairness audit ofthe American federal electoral system, in which America received a failing score of 42.5 percentfor legislation pertaining to media political content.The goal of the FDAs media study is to give Americans and other stakeholders objective data onelection coverage by major media outlets and of the presidential candidates during the last 32days of the 2012 American Presidential Election. Members of the American House of Congressand Senate may want to use the report‟s measurements, findings, and recommendations as abasis for regulating private and public media during the 60 day federal campaign period. TheAmerican electorate may want to use the report‟s measurements and findings to help determinetheir media information sources in future elections.The views in this media study are the views of the FDA only. The FDA members are in no wayaffiliated with Federal Election Commission or any of Americas registered/non-registeredpolitical parties, or any of the American media corporations. The Study is an independentassessment based on objectivity, transparency and non-partisanship. The FDA assumes noresponsibility or liability for any errors in its data collection or inaccuracies in its research ofrelevant corporate and government documents.About the Foundation for Democratic AdvancementThe Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) is an international independent, non-partisan democracy organization. The FDA‟s mission isto measure, study, and communicate the impact of government processes on a free anddemocratic society.Overall, the FDA works 1. to ensure that people become more knowledgeable about the outcomes of government processes and can then make decisions that are more informed; 2. to get people involved in monitoring government processes at all levels of government and in providing sound, practical, and effective suggestions. (For more information on the FDA visit: www.democracychange.org) Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 2
  • 3. To ensure its objectivity and independence, the FDA does not conduct privately paid research.However, if you or your organization has an important research idea or are aware of an importantissue on government processes, the FDA is available to listen to your idea or issue and possiblyhelp raise public awareness by initiating and leading change through report research andanalysis. Please contact the FDA at (403) 669-8132 or email us at info@democracychange.orgfor more information.An online version of this report can be found at: www.democracychange.orgFor further information and/or comments on this report please contact Mr. Stephen Garvey atstephen.garvey@democracychange.org Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 3
  • 4. Table of ContentsIntroduction 5Chapter 1: Media Study of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election 7 American Media Corporations in Study 8 Corporate Ownership of American Media 9 American National Newspapers 9 American National Radio 15 American National Television 22 U.S. National Press Results 28 Analysis 32 U.S. National Radio Results 33 Analysis 37 U.S. National Television Results 38 Analysis 42Chapter 2: Total America Media Study Results 43 Analysis 47Chapter 3: Analysis 50Chapter 4: Conclusion 56Chapter 5: Recommendations 57References 60Research Methodology 63Appendix: 2012 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report of the United States Federal Electoral System 67FDA Media Study Team & Associates 74 Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 4
  • 5. IntroductionThe FDAs study on the American national media during the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election isbased findings on non-partisanship and objectivity.The media study involved three main components: 1. Identify major American national media companies/programs/shows in the press, radio, and television, and their corporate ownership. 2. Collect data on the selected American national media from October 6, 2012 to November 6, 2012. 3. Compile and analyze data.Using media circulation and ownership data for America, the FDA identified the major mediacorporations in the press, radio, and television and chose major mediacompanies/programs/shows in each sector for the Study. This approach allowed the FDA tofocus on companies/programs/shows with a large market share, rather than concentrate on everyAmerican media company/program/show.The FDA data collection team is comprised of twelve FDA members and each individualfocused on a particular media company/program/show whether a newspaper, radio program, andtelevision news broadcast. The collection team used spreadsheets to capture specific electioncontent on the biases on each relevant story.Members entered media data into a master spreadsheet to determine percentages. The FDAanalyzed the results in relation and comparison to the 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Reporton the U.S. Federal Electoral System and the 2012 American presidential popular vote results.The report is limited in that it does not include every American company/program/show.However, by covering the major media outlets in each sector, the FDA is able to show evidenceof the percentage of media coverage during the last thirty-two days of the American PresidentialElection. The report is also limited in its focus on the last thirty-two days of the campaign periodas opposed to the entire sixty-day campaign period for electioneering communication(unofficially known as from the U.S. labor Day to the first Tuesday in November) (U.S. Code,Title 5, Section 4508 and Code of Federal Regulations, Article 100.29). The FDA has no data onthe first 28 days of this election period. There may or may not be a correlation in media coveragebetween the two pars of the campaign period. The FDA believes that although the 2012American election was characterized by a two candidate race this in of itself does not justify thealmost 10 percent bias in total coverage for Obama over Romney, or the almost non-existentcoverage of third-party presidential candidates.The FDA acknowledges that due to the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and various U.S.Supreme Court decisions on the importance and protection of free political speech, most recently Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 5
  • 6. the Citizens United ruling, American public and private media has no legal requirement toprovide the electorate with broad, balanced, and complete election coverage and that the onus isnot solely on the media to inform the public. The electorate should also make efforts to gatherinformation and form conclusions on its own volition, and even set up their own mediacompanies and new sources if they are not satisfied with the news of the current media. Yet, theFDA believes that during an election period, legislation should mandate broad, balanced, andcomplete campaign coverage by the media in order for citizens to have a reasonable opportunityto make informed decisions on Election Day. The onus should not be fully on citizens to becomemedia persons or form media companies to generate alternate media content. Democracy andelections are not solely about freedom; fairness and equality are integral parts as well. Freedomleft unregulated like in the financial markets will likely lead to self-interested actions which aredetrimental to the public good. Similarly, an unregulated media will lead to similar outcomes asthis report shows. In democracy and elections a balance must be struck between freedom and thepublic good. As articulated in the Research Methodology for the 2012 FDA Audit Report on theUnited States: “Excessive political freedom would likely lead to a plutocracy, and excessivepolitical equality would likely lead to communism” (Foundation for Democratic Advancement,2012).(For more discussion on the democratic grounds for broad, balanced, and complete campaigncoverage, see the Conclusion and Recommendations on pages 57 and 60.) Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 6
  • 7. Chapter One: American National Media Election ContentChapter One will focus on the U.S. media ownership concentration and the FDAs datacollection results for the thirty-two days of the 2012 American Presidential ElectionChapter Summary: The FDA media study focuses on twelve major corporations fromAmerican national newspaper, radio, and television sectors. In the newspaper sector, the FDAfocuses specifically on the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, New York Times, San Jose MercuryNews, USA Today , Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; in the radio sector, the FDAfocuses on the Don Imus Show, Laura Ingram Show, NPR‟s Morning Edition (Public News)NPR‟s Evening News (Public News), and the Rush Limbaugh Show; and in the television sector,the FDA focuses on ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC News, NBC News, andPBS (The News Hour). The data collection results show overwhelming bias in coverage toBarack Obama and Mitt Romney over third-party presidential candidates, and overall bias toObama over Romney 54 percent total coverage to 44.75 percent, and more stories with positivebias for Obama and more stories with negative bias for Romney (based percentage breakdown ofbiased stories). In addition, the FDA researchers identified ownership concentration issues in thenational television sector, in which for example ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News have82.22 percent of the National News Networks, Cable News, and Public News market in terms ofprime time audience. In the radio sector, Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners have controland/or access to 41.08 percent of the 14,278 full powered U.S. radio stations. In the newspapersector, the top ten U.S. newspapers have 66.84% of the U.S. newspaper market (for the top 100U.S. newspapers) in terms of circulation. Introduction: The Chapter is divided into three sections: American national media corporationsin study, corporate ownership concentrations, and data collection results for American nationalnewspaper, radio, and television sectors. The FDAs data collection for newspaper and televisionsectors includes online data. For information on research and data collection methodologies seethe Research Methodology chapter on page 63. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 7
  • 8. American National Media in StudyNational Press (plus their online content)Chicago TribuneLA TimesNew York TimesSan Jose Mercury NewsUSA TodayWall Street JournalWashington PostNational RadioDon Imus ShowLaura Ingram ShowNPR‟s Morning Edition (Public News)Rush Limbaugh ShowNational Television (plus their online content)ABC NewsCBS NewsCNNFox NewsMSNBC NewsNBC NewsPBS News Hour Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 8
  • 9. Corporate Media Ownership of Newspaper CompaniesAmerican National Press in Media StudyThe Tribune Company owns the Chicago TribuneThe Tribune Company owns the LA TimesThe New York Times Company owns the New York TimesThe Media News Group owns the San Jose MercuryThe Gannett Company owns the USA TodayThe News Corporation owns the New Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post owns the Washington PostNewspaper Ownership of Newspaper CompaniesGannett CompanyNewspaper companies in top 100 in terms of circulation:USA TodayThe Arizona RepublicDetroit Free PressThe Indianapolis StarThe Cincinnati EnquirerThe Courier-JournalThe TennesseanDemocrat and ChronicleThe Des Moines RegisterAsbury Park PressThe News JournalTotal daily and Sunday circulation: 6,258,549 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. ViaWikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012)News CorporationNewspaper companies in top 100:The Wall Street JournalNew York PostTotal daily and Sunday circulation: 5,186,598 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. ViaWikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012) Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 9
  • 10. Media News GroupNewspaper companies in top 100:San Jose Mercury NewsThe Denver PostSt. Paul Pioneer PressThe Detroit NewsThe Salt Lake TribuneLos Angeles Daily NewsPress-TelegramTotal daily and Sunday circulation: 3,435,721 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. ViaWikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012)The New York Times CompanyNewspaper companies in top 100:The New York TimesThe Boston GlobeTelegram & GazetteTotal daily and Sunday circulation: 4,248,631 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. ViaWikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012)The Washington PostNewspaper companies in top 100:The Washington PostTotal daily and Sunday circulation: 1,226,916 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. ViaWikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012)Tribune CompanyNewspaper companies in top 100:Los Angeles TimesChicago TribuneBaltimore SunOrlando Sentinel Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 10
  • 11. South Florida Sun-SentinelThe Hartford CourantThe Morning CallTotal daily and Sunday circulation: 4,751,568 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. ViaWikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012)Total of daily and Sunday circulation of media companies in study: 25,107,983 (Audit Bureau ofCirculations, 2012. Via Wikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation, 2012)Total of daily and Sunday circulation of media companies (in top 100) not in study: 27,574,439(Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. Via Wikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States byCirculation, 2012)Total ownership concentration of media companies in study as compared to newspapercompanies in top 100:47.66%The largest media ownership concentration is the Gannett Company at 6,258,549 daily andSunday circulation:11.88% of newspaper marketThe next largest media ownership concentration is the News Corporation at 5,186,598 daily andSunday circulation:9.85% of newspaper marketThere are 44 newspaper companies in the top of 100 newspapers according to daily and Sundaycirculation numbers.The top 10 newspaper companies in terms of circulation numbers own 66.84% of the market.The 34 other newspaper companies own 33.16% of the market. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 11
  • 12. The pie chart captures the percentage of newspaper circulation covered by the FDA‟s mediastudy. The FDA determined newspaper circulation from the one hundred American newspaperswith the highest circulation (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 12
  • 13. The pie chart captures the percentage of the U.S. newspaper market share by circulation for thetop 44 newspaper companies (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). U.S. Newspaper Ownership Group Quartiles Share of CirculationFirst Quartile (top 11 companies) 69.17%Second Quartile (companies ranked 12 to 22) 17.28%Third Quartile (companies ranked 23 to 33) 9.22%Fourth Quartile (companies ranked 34 to 44) 4.33% Total 100.00% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 13
  • 14. The chart captures the cumulative percentage of FDA data points in relation to circulation of thetop 44 U.S. newspaper corporations (including the top 100 U.S. newspapers in terms ofcirculation). The blue line represents what the cumulative distribution would look like if those 44newspaper ownership groups each held an equal share of the market. The red line shows theactual lopsided ownership pattern and the resulting skew in the share of market. The vertical axisrepresents the cumulative percentage of the newspaper market in terms of audience. (Foundationfor Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 14
  • 15. Total daily and Sunday circulation U.S. National Newspapers in Study Daily and Sunday Circulation NumbersChicago Tribune 1,194,030LA Times 1,554,132New York Times 3,590,004San Jose Mercury News 1,266,044USA Today 1,817,446Wall Street Journal 4,196, 879Washington Post 1,226,916Total Daily and Sunday Circulation 10,648,572Total Daily and Sunday Circulation for Top 20 24,255,353NewspapersPercentage of Circulation of Newspapers in Study 43.90%in Terms of the Top 20 NewspapersTotal Daily and Sunday Circulation for Top 100 52,682,422NewspapersPercentage of Circulation of Newspapers in Study 20.21%within Top 100 NewspapersCirculation numbers based on the first 6 month period of 2012 ended March 31, 2012.(Audit Bureau of Circulations, 2012. Via Wikipedia, List of Newspapers in the United States byCirculation, 2012) Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 15
  • 16. American National Radio in StudyDon Imus ShowLaura Ingram ShowNPR‟s Morning Edition (Public News)Rush Limbaugh ShowOwnership of American National Radio in Study1. Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners (Clear Channel) owns the Rush Limbaugh ShowOther Bain Capital/Thomas H. Lee Partners‟ media ownership:Radio: 866 radio stations and Premiere Radio Networks (a national radio network that produces,distributes or represents approximately 90 syndicated radio programs, serves nearly 5,800 radiostation affiliates and has over 213 million weekly listeners. Programs include the Rush LimbaughShow, Glenn Beck and the Sean Hannity Show); Fox Sports Radio; Fox News Radio; AustralianRadio NetworkOther: Katz Media (radio advertising broker); American Outdoor Advertising (freepress.net,2012)2. NPR non-profit corporation privately and publicly funded and acts a national syndicator to anetwork of 900 U.S. public radio stations (Wikipedia, NPR, 2012).3. Fox News Network owns Imus in the Morning; Fox News Network is owned by the NewsCorporation (freepress.net, 2012).4. Laura Ingraham show owned by MediaBlue Nox, c/o Metrologo LLC (The Ingraham showhad been distributed by the Talk Radio Network.) On businessprofiles.com MediaBlue Nox islisted as “dissolved.” It is unclear the viewership of the Laura Ingraham show. Although TalkRadio Network says on its website it is second largest national provider of talk radio shows andit lists 40 radio stations (trncorporate.com, 2012; tunein.com, Talk Radio Network RadioStations, 2012; Lauraingraham.com, Terms and Conditions, 2012).Number of Radio Stations in America14,278 full power radio stations: 4,778 AM, 6533 FM, and 3,417 educational FM. There are859 lower power FM stations. Lower power FM stations are only accessible by noncommercialeducational entities and public safety and transportation organizations, (Benton Foundation.(2012) via the Federal Communications Commission, March 2011; Federal CommunicationsCommission, Low Power FM Broadcast Radio Stations, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 16
  • 17. There are 70 plus radio networks in the United States. (Wikipedia, Radio in the United States,and List of United States Radio Networks, 2012). Media corporations operate a number of thesenetworks such as:Dial Global, a subsidiary of Triton Media Group, operates the followingnetworks:Source Max Radio NetworkCBS Radio NetworkNBC Radio NetworkNBC Sports RadioNeXt Radio NetworkWONE Radio NetworkWaitt Radio Networks (Dial Global Local)Dial Global Total (amalgamation of Transtar Radio Networks and Jones RadioNetworks)Westwood One (Wikipedia, List of United States Radio Networks, 2012).Disney operates the following radio networks:ABC News Radio (Provides news programming to Cumulus Media Networks)ESPN RadioRadio Disney (Wikipedia, List of United States Radio Networks, 2012).Radio Ownership Concentration IssueBain Capitol /Thomas H. Lee Partners (Clear Channel) has an estimated 5000 station affiliatesthrough the Premier Radio Network and owns 866 radio stations (freepress.net, 2012). The FDAresearchers assume that Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners have access to: 5866 radiostations. (5000 station affiliates plus 866 radio stations)There are 14,278 full powered American radio stations (Benton Foundation, 2012 via the FederalCommunications Commission, March 2011).Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners have access to 41.08 percent of American radio stations.Talk Radio Audiences1. Rush Limbaugh ShowAccording to TALKERS magazine (spring of 2012), the top talk radio audiences totaledapproximately:141, 250, 000, 000 (comprised of the top 38 radio talk shows) Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 17
  • 18. The Rush Limbaugh Show, with an estimated audience of 14,750,000 (TALKERS magazine,2012), has 10.44 percent of the talk radio market (top 38 talk shows).Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners through the Premier Radio Network own Rush LimbaughShow, Sean Hannity Show, and Glenn Beck Show. These shows have an estimated audience of37 million (TALKERS magazine, 2012), or 26.19% of the audience for the top 38 American talkradio shows.2. NPR‟s Morning Edition:NPR‟s Morning Edition audience is estimated at 14 million (per week) (Ledbetter, 2011).3. Imus in the Morning audience is estimated at 2.75 million (TALKERS magazine, 2012).4. Laura Ingraham show audience is estimated at 5.75 million (TALKERS magazine, 2012).Total American radio audienceThe American news/talk/information radio audience is estimated at around 170 million(Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012 via data from the Pew Research Center, State ofthe Media, 2012).In this study, the FDA tracked four radio news programs with an estimated audience of:37.25 millionThe FDA tracked radio shows capture 21.91 percent of the American news/talk/informationmarket. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 18
  • 19. The pie chart captures Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners‟ percentage of control and access toAmerican radio stations. Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners have an estimated 5000 stationaffiliates through the Premier Radio Network and own 866 radio stations. There are 14,278 fullpowered radio stations in the United States (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 19
  • 20. The pie chart captures Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners‟ market share of the American talkradio market. The FDA determines market share based on the size of talk radio audiences, andthe FDA limited the radio talk show market to the most popular 38 American radio talk shows(Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 20
  • 21. The pie chart captures the percentage of the total national radio news market covered by FDAdata collectors. The percentages are based on radio audience numbers for thenews/talk/information radio sector (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 21
  • 22. American National Television in StudyABC NewsCBS NewsCNNFox NewsMSNBC NewsNBC NewsPBS (The News Hour)National Television Network NewsABC NewsCBS NewsNBC NewsNational Television Cable News:CNNMSNBC NewsFox NewsPBS (The News Hour)Other National Television Cable News:CNBCHLNCorporate Media Ownership of the American National News Networks, Cable News, andPublic News1. Comcast Corporation owns NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC.Comcast Corporation media ownership:TV: NBCUniversal; twenty-four television stations and the NBC television network; Telemundo;USA Network; SyFy; CNBC; MSNBC; Bravo; Oxygen; Chiller; CNBC World; E!; the GolfChannel; Sleuth; mun2; Universal HD; VERSUS; Style; G4; Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia),Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.), Cable Sports Southeast,Comcast SportsNet Chicago, MountainWest Sports Network, Comcast SportsNet California(Sacramento), Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), Comcast SportsNet Northwest(Portland, Ore.), Comcast Sports Southwest (Houston), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (SanFrancisco), New England Cable News (Boston), Comcast Network Philadelphia, Comcast Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 22
  • 23. Network Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.); the Weather Channel (25 percent stake);A&E (16 percent stake); the History Channel (16 percent stake); the Biography Channel (16percent stake); Lifetime (16 percent stake); the Crime and Investigation Channel (16 percentstake); Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (30 percent stake); FEARnet (31 percent stake); PBSKIDS Sprout (40 percent stake); TV One (34 percent stake); Houston Regional Sports Network(23 percent stake); SportsNet New York (8 percent stake)Online Holdings: MSNBC.com [full owner recently]; Hulu (32 percent stake); DailyCandy;iVillage; Fandango (freepress.net, 2012).2. CBS Corporation owns CBS News.CBS Corporation media ownership:TV: Twenty-nine television stations and CBS Television Studios; CBS Entertainment; CBSNews; CBS Sports; CBS television stations; CBS Television Studios; CBS Studios International;CBS Television Distribution; the CW; Showtime; CBS College Sports Network; CBS TelevisionNetwork; Smithsonian NetworksRadio: CBS Radio and 130 radio stations (freepress.net, 2012).3. News Corporation owns Fox News.News Corporation media ownership:TV: Twenty-seven television stations and FOX Broadcasting Company (FOX Network,MyNetworkTV); FOX News; FOX Business; FOX News Radio Network; FOX News TalkChannel; FSN (12 regional sports networks); FX; SPEED; FUEL TV; Fox College Sports; FoxMovie Channel; Fox Soccer Channel; Fox Soccer Plus; Fox Pan American Sports; Fox Deportes;Big Ten Network; National Geographic U.S.; Nat Geo Adventure; Nat Geo Music; Nat GeoWild; Fox International Channels; Utilisima; Fox Crime; NEXT; FOX History & Entertainment;the Voyage Channel; STAR World; STAR Movies; NGC Network International; NGC NetworkLatin America; LAPTV; Movie City; City Mix; City Family; City Stars; City Vibe; the FilmZone; Cinecanal; Elite Sports Limited; BabyTV; STAR India; STAR Taiwan; ESPN STARSports; Shine LimitedOnline Holdings: Hulu.com (32 percent minority share) (freepress.net, 2012).4. Walt Disney Company owns ABC News.Walt Disney Company media ownership:TV: Eight television stations and the ABC television network; ESPN; Disney ChannelsWorldwide; ABC Family; SOAPnet Networks; A&E (42 percent stake); Lifetime Television (42percent stake); the History Channel (42 percent stake); Lifetime Movie Network (42 percent Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 23
  • 24. stake); the Biography Channel (42 percent stake); History International [renamed H2] (42percent stake); Lifetime Real Women (42 percent stake); Live Well Network (42 percent stake)Radio: ESPN Radio Network; Radio Disney (freepress.net, 2012).5. Time Warner Company owns CNN and HLN (Wikipedia, CNN and HLN, 2012).6. PBS is owned by 354 U.S. TV stations which have collective ownership (Wikipedia, PBS,2012).There are 1,774 full power television stations in the United States (Benton Foundation. (2012)via the Federal Communications Commission, March 2011).Viewership of the American National News Networks, Cable News, and Public News8.75 million (daily audience 2010/2011) NBC Nightly News8.75 million (daily audience 2010/2011) ABC World News5.97 million (daily audience 2010/2011) CBS Evening News1.1 million (daily audience (2010/2011) PBS News Hour1.9 million (daily mean prime time audience 2011) Fox News773,000 (daily mean prime time audience 2011) MSNBC654,500 (daily mean prime time audience 2011) CNN385,500 (daily mean prime time audience 2011) HLN (Foundation for Democratic, 2012 via datafrom the Pew Research Center, State of the Media, 2012).291, 000 (daily audience during business day first quarter 2012) CNBC (Talking Biz News,2011).Total Daily Viewers of National News Networks, Cable News, and Public News:28.547 millionThe FDA data collection covers 27.8975 million (97.72%) of the National News Networks,Cable News, and Public News market in terms media corporations in the study.Media Ownership Concentration IssuesNBC Nightly News and ABC World News have 61.03 percent of the National News Networks,Cable News, and Public News market in terms of prime time audience. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 24
  • 25. NBC Nightly News and ABC World News each have 30.52 percent of the National NewsNetworks, Cable News, and Public News market in terms of prime time audience.NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, and CBS Evening News have 82.22 percent of theNational News Networks, Cable News, and Public News market in terms of prime timeaudience.The pie chart captures the percentage of prime time news market share ABC, NBC, and CBS hascompared to all other U.S. national news networks, cable news, and public news networks interms of prime time audience (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012).Cross Ownership Between Three Major Media SectorsCBS CorporationTV: Twenty-nine television stations and CBS Television Studios; CBS Entertainment; CBSNews; CBS Sports; CBS television stations; CBS Television Studios; CBS Studios International;CBS Television Distribution; the CW; Showtime; CBS College Sports Network; CBS TelevisionNetwork; Smithsonian NetworksRadio: CBS Radio and 130 radio stations Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 25
  • 26. Online Holdings: CBS Interactive; CNETPrint: Simon & Schuster; Watch! Magazine; Pocket Books; Scribner; Free Press (publishinghouse) (freepress.net, 2012).Comcast CorporationTV: NBCUniversal; twenty-four television stations and the NBC television network; Telemundo;USA Network; SyFy; CNBC; MSNBC; Bravo; Oxygen; Chiller; CNBC World; E!; the GolfChannel; Sleuth; mun2; Universal HD; VERSUS; Style; G4; Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia),Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.), Cable Sports Southeast,Comcast SportsNet Chicago, MountainWest Sports Network, Comcast SportsNet California(Sacramento), Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), Comcast SportsNet Northwest(Portland, Ore.), Comcast Sports Southwest (Houston), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (SanFrancisco), New England Cable News (Boston), Comcast Network Philadelphia, ComcastNetwork Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.); the Weather Channel (25 percent stake);A&E (16 percent stake); the History Channel (16 percent stake); the Biography Channel (16percent stake); Lifetime (16 percent stake); the Crime and Investigation Channel (16 percentstake); Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (30 percent stake); FEARnet (31 percent stake); PBSKIDS Sprout (40 percent stake); TV One (34 percent stake); Houston Regional Sports Network(23 percent stake); SportsNet New York (8 percent stake)Online Holdings: MSNBC.com (50 percent stake); Hulu (32 percent stake); DailyCandy;iVillage; FandangoTelecom: Clearwire Communications (9 percent stake) (freepress.net, 2012).News CorporationTV: Twenty-seven television stations and FOX Broadcasting Company (FOX Network,MyNetworkTV); FOX News; FOX Business; FOX News Radio Network; FOX News TalkChannel; FSN (12 regional sports networks); FX; SPEED; FUEL TV; Fox College Sports; FoxMovie Channel; Fox Soccer Channel; Fox Soccer Plus; Fox Pan American Sports; Fox Deportes;Big Ten Network; National Geographic U.S.; Nat Geo Adventure; Nat Geo Music; Nat GeoWild; Fox International Channels; Utilisima; Fox Crime; NEXT; FOX History & Entertainment;the Voyage Channel; STAR World; STAR Movies; NGC Network International; NGC NetworkLatin America; LAPTV; Movie City; City Mix; City Family; City Stars; City Vibe; the FilmZone; Cinecanal; Elite Sports Limited; BabyTV; STAR India; STAR Taiwan; ESPN STARSports; Shine LimitedOnline Holdings: Hulu.com (32 percent minority share)Print: HarperCollins Publishers; the New York Post; the Daily News; News International (theTimes; the Sunday Times; the Sun); News Limited (146 newspapers in Australia); Dow Jones(Wall Street Journal, Barrons, SmartMoney, Factiva, Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones LocalMedia, Dow Jones VentureSource) (freepress.net, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 26
  • 27. Gannett CorporationTV: Twenty-three television stationsOnline Holdings: CareerBuilder.com; MomsLikeMe.com; ShopLocal.com; Cars.com;Apartments.com; CareerSite.biz; Livestream.com; Metromix.com; Ongo, Inc.; Reviewed.com;SavvyShopperDeals.com; Homefinder.com; BNOT.com; Nurse.comPrint: USA Today; over 600 magazines and other non-daily print publications; Clipper Magazine;Mint Magazine; Gannett Government Media; Gannett Education; Newsquest (U.K.)(freepress.net, 2012).Tribune CompanyTV: Twenty-three television stations and the Food Network (30 percent stake); WGN America;CLTV (Chicagoland‟s Television); Tribune EntertainmentRadio: One radio stationOnline Holdings: Zap2it.com; TribuneDirect.com; MetroMix.com (minority stake);CareerBuilder.com (minority stake); Apartments.com (minority stake); Cars.com (minoritystake); ForSaleByOwner.com; HomeFinder.com (minority stake); Healthkey.com; Topix.net(minority stake)Print: Twelve daily newspapers (including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, theBaltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant); Chicago MagazineOther: Tribune Media Services; Classified Ventures (minority stake) (freepress.net, 2012).Washington Post CompanyTV: Six television stationsPrint: The Washington Post; the Herald; the Washington Post News Service; Post-NewsweekMedia; Greater Washington Publishing; the Slate Group (Slate, the Root, Foreign Policy); ElTiempo Latino; Express Publications (Express, ExpressNightOut.com); Social Code; ClassifiedVentures (17 percent stake)Telecommunications: Cable ONE, Inc.Other: Kaplan (Kaplan Higher Education, Kaplan University, Kaplan Test Preparation, KaplanInternational, Kaplan Ventures, Kaplan EduNeering, Kaplan Learning Technologies, the KidumGroup, Kaplan Continuing Education, Kaplan Global Solutions, Colloquy, Kaplan VirtualEducation and Kaplan VC LLC); Avenue 100 Media Solutions, Inc.; Bowater Mersey PaperCompany (49 percent stake) (freepress.net, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 27
  • 28. Media Study Data Collection ResultsAmerican National PressOverall data collection totals for newspaper news coverage and biases (positive, neutral,negative). Each data point in the table below represents a recorded bias from a particularnews story/information over the last 32 days of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election:Republican Party (Mitt Romney) TOTAL 1865 44.83% POSITIVE 403 21.61% NEUTRAL 943 50.56% NEGATIVE 519 27.83%Democratic Party (BarackObama) TOTAL 2226 53.51% POSITIVE 716 32.17% NEUTRAL 1175 52.79% NEGATIVE 335 15.05%Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) TOTAL 35 0.84% POSITIVE 9 25.71% NEUTRAL 20 57.14% NEGATIVE 6 17.14%Green Party (Jill Stein) TOTAL 14 0.34% POSITIVE 7 50.00% NEUTRAL 6 42.86% NEGATIVE 1 7.14%Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) TOTAL 14 0.34% POSITIVE 5 35.71% NEUTRAL 8 57.14% NEGATIVE 1 7.14%All Other Parties/Candidates TOTAL 6 0.14% POSITIVE 5 83.33% NEUTRAL 1 16.67% NEGATIVE 0 0.00% TOTAL BIASES 4160 100% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 28
  • 29. The pie chart captures the percentage breakdown of the total national press coverage in terms ofstories with positive, neutral, and negative bias. The breakdown is based on the FDA‟snewspaper data collection in the last 32 days of the U.S. presidential election, in which 4,160data points were collected (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 29
  • 30. Ranking of American national press total coverage Presidential Candidates Total Press Coverage1. Barack Obama 53.51%2. Mitt Romney 44.83%3. Gary Johnson 0.89%4. Jill Stein 0.35%5. Virgil Goode 0.35%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.15%Ranking of American national press total positive biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Positive Coverage1. Barack Obama 32.17%2. Mitt Romney 21.61%3. Gary Johnson 0.89% (total coverage)4. Jill Stein 0.35% (total coverage)5. Virgil Goode 0.35% (total coverage)6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.15% (total coverage)Ranking of American national press total neutral biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Neutral Coverage1. Barack Obama 52.79%2. Mitt Romney 50.56%3. Gary Johnson 0.89% (total coverage)4. Jill Stein 0.35% (total coverage)5. Virgil Goode 0.35% (total coverage)6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.15% (total coverage)Ranking of American national press total negative biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Negative Coverage1. Mitt Romney 27.83%2. Barack Obama 15.05%3. Gary Johnson 0.89% (total coverage)4. Jill Stein 0.35% (total coverage)5. Virgil Goode 0.35% (total coverage)6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.15% (total coverage) Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 30
  • 31. The pie chart captures the total national press coverage (including online content) of the 2012U.S. presidential candidates from the FDA‟s 4,160 data points on the press (Foundation forDemocratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 31
  • 32. Analysis of American National Newspaper FindingsBarack Obama had a clear advantage over Mitt Romney in the U.S. national press coverage ofthe 2012 presidential election. In the last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s datacollection, Obama had 8.68 percent more total press coverage than Romney. More specifically,Obama had 10.56 percent more stories with positive bias than Romney, and Romney had 12.78percent more stories with negative bias than Obama.U.S. national press coverage of third-party presidential candidates was almost non-existent. Inthe last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection, third-party candidateshad 1.66 percent of the total press coverage, while Obama and Romney had 98.34 percent of thepress coverage.More than double of the total U.S. national press stories were of neutral bias:51.46 percent neutral bias48.24 percent either positive or negative bias.The U.S. national press had 6.8 percent more stories with positive bias than stories with negativebias: 27.52 percent to 20.72 percent. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 32
  • 33. American National RadioOverall data collection totals for radio news coverage and biases (positive, neutral,negative). Each data point in the table below represents a recorded bias from a particularnews story/information over the last 32 days of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election:Republican Party (Mitt Romney) TOTAL 625 41.28% POSITIVE 291 46.56% NEUTRAL 195 31.20% NEGATIVE 139 22.24%Democratic Party (BarackObama) TOTAL 883 58.32% POSITIVE 91 10.31% NEUTRAL 247 27.97% NEGATIVE 545 61.72%Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) TOTAL 5 0.33% POSITIVE 1 20.00% NEUTRAL 2 40.00% NEGATIVE 2 40.00%Green Party (Jill Stein) TOTAL 1 0.07% POSITIVE 0 0.00% NEUTRAL 1 100.00% NEGATIVE 0 0.00%Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) TOTAL 0 0.00% POSITIVE 0 0.00% NEUTRAL 0 0.00% NEGATIVE 0 0.00%All Other Parties/Candidates TOTAL 0 0.00% POSITIVE 0 0.00% NEUTRAL 0 0.00% NEGATIVE 0 0.00% TOTAL BIASES 1514 100% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 33
  • 34. The pie chart captures the percentage breakdown of the total national radio coverage in terms ofstories with positive, neutral, and negative bias. The breakdown is based on the FDA‟s radio datacollection in the last 32 days of the U.S. presidential election, in which 1,514 data points werecollected (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 34
  • 35. Ranking of American national radio total coverage Presidential Candidates Total Radio Coverage1. Barack Obama 58.32%2. Mitt Romney 41.28%3. Gary Johnson 0.33%4. Jill Stein 0.07%5. Virgil Goode 0.0%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0%Ranking of American national radio total positive biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Positive Coverage1. Mitt Romney 46.56%2. Barack Obama 10.31%3. Gary Johnson 0.06%4. Jill Stein 0.0%5. Virgil Goode 0.0%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0%Ranking of American national radio total neutral biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Neutral Coverage1. Mitt Romney 31.20%2. Barack Obama 27.97%3. Gary Johnson 0.13%4. Jill Stein 0.07%5. Virgil Goode 0.0%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0%Ranking of American national radio total negative biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Negative Coverage1. Barack Obama 61.72%2. Mitt Romney 22.24%3. Gary Johnson 0.13%4. Jill Stein 0.0%5. Virgil Goode 0.0%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 35
  • 36. The pie chart captures the total national radio coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential candidatesfrom the FDA‟s 1,514 data points on the radio (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 36
  • 37. Analysis of American National Radio FindingsBarack Obama had a clear advantage over Mitt Romney in the U.S. national radio coverage ofthe 2012 election. In the last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection,Obama had 17.04 percent more radio coverage than Romney.However, Obama had 39.48 percent more negative radio coverage than Romney. In addition,Romney had 36.25 percent more positive radio coverage than Obama.Romney and Obama had a similar percentage of neutral radio coverage, 31.20 percent forRomney to 27.97 percent for Obama.U.S. national radio coverage of third-party presidential candidates was almost non-existent. Inthe last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection, third-party candidateshad 0.4 percent of the total radio coverage, while Obama and Romney had 99.6 percent of theradio coverage.The U.S. national radio had 20.01 percent more content with negative bias than content withpositive bias: 45.31 percent to 25.30 percent. Also, the U.S. national press had 15.92 percentmore content with negative bias than content with neutral bias: 45.31 percent to 29.39 percent.Bias Breakdown of National Radio:Negative: 45.31%Positive: 25.30%Neutral: 29.39% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 37
  • 38. American National TelevisionOverall data collection totals for television news coverage and biases (positive, neutral,negative). Each data point in the table below represents a recorded bias from a particularnews story/information over the last 32 days of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election:Republican Party (Mitt Romney) TOTAL 1055 46.95% POSITIVE 181 17.16% NEUTRAL 572 54.22% NEGATIVE 302 28.63%Democratic Party (BarackObama) TOTAL 1168 51.98% POSITIVE 357 30.57% NEUTRAL 598 51.20% NEGATIVE 213 18.24%Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) TOTAL 8 0.36% POSITIVE 1 12.50% NEUTRAL 7 87.50% NEGATIVE 0 0.00%Green Party (Jill Stein) TOTAL 8 0.36% POSITIVE 0 0.00% NEUTRAL 7 87.50% NEGATIVE 1 12.50%Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) TOTAL 7 0.31% POSITIVE 0 0.00% NEUTRAL 7 100.00% NEGATIVE 0 0.00%All Other Parties/Candidates TOTAL 1 0.04% POSITIVE 0 0.00% NEUTRAL 1 100.00% NEGATIVE 0 0.00% TOTAL BIASES 2247 100% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 38
  • 39. The pie chart captures the percentage breakdown of the total national television coverage interms of stories with positive, neutral, and negative bias. The breakdown is based on the FDA‟snewspaper data collection in the last 32 days of the U.S. presidential election, in which 2,247data points were collected (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 39
  • 40. Ranking of American national television total coverage Presidential Candidates Total Television Coverage1. Barack Obama 51.98%2. Mitt Romney 46.95%3. Gary Johnson 0.36%4. Jill Stein 0.36%5. Virgil Goode 0.31%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.04%Ranking of American national television total positive biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Positive Coverage1. Barack Obama 30.57%2. Mitt Romney 17.16%3. Gary Johnson 0.05%4. Jill Stein 0.0%5. Virgil Goode 0.0%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0%Ranking of American national television total neutral biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Neutral Coverage1. Mitt Romney 54.22%2. Barack Obama 51.20%3. Gary Johnson 0.32%4. Jill Stein 0.32%5. Virgil Goode 0.31%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.04%Ranking of American national television total negative biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Negative Coverage1. Barack Obama 28.63%2. Mitt Romney 18.24%3. Gary Johnson 0.0%4. Jill Stein 0.05%5. Virgil Goode 0.0%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 40
  • 41. The pie chart captures the total national television coverage (including online content) of the2012 U.S. presidential candidates from the FDA‟s 2,247 data points on the television(Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 41
  • 42. Analysis of American National Television FindingsBarack Obama had an advantage over Mitt Romney in the U.S. national television coverage ofthe 2012 election. In the last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection,Obama had 5.03 percent more total television coverage than Romney. However, moresignificantly, Obama had 13.41 more positive television coverage than Romney, and Obama had10.39 less negative television coverage than Romney. Both candidates had similar percentage ofneutral coverage: 54.22 percent for Romney to 51.20 percent for Obama. U.S. national television coverage of third-party presidential candidates was almost non-existent.In the last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection, third-party candidateshad 1.07 percent of the total television coverage, while Obama and Romney had 98.93 percent ofthe television coverage.The U.S. national television had more than double neutral coverage of Obama and Romney thanpositive and negative coverage combined: 53.50 percent neutral coverage to 46.95 percentpositive and negative coverage. Percentages of positive and negative television coverage differby 1.03 percent: 23.99 percent positive coverage to 22.96 percent negative coverage. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 42
  • 43. Chapter Two: Total American Media Study ResultsChapter Two will show the FDA’s total media results for the last thirty days of the 2012American Presidential ElectionOverall data collection totals for all news coverage and biases (positive, neutral, negative).Each data point in the table below represents a recorded bias from a particular newsstory/information over the last 32 days of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election:Republican Party (Mitt Romney) TOTAL 3545 44.75% POSITIVE 875 24.68% NEUTRAL 1710 48.24% NEGATIVE 960 27.08%Democratic Party (BarackObama) TOTAL 4277 54.00% POSITIVE 1164 27.22% NEUTRAL 2020 47.23% NEGATIVE 1093 25.56%Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) TOTAL 48 0.61% POSITIVE 11 22.92% NEUTRAL 29 60.42% NEGATIVE 8 16.67%Green Party (Jill Stein) TOTAL 23 0.29% POSITIVE 7 30.43% NEUTRAL 14 60.87% NEGATIVE 2 8.70%Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) TOTAL 21 0.27% POSITIVE 5 23.81% NEUTRAL 15 71.43% NEGATIVE 1 4.76%All Other Parties/Candidates TOTAL 7 0.09% POSITIVE 5 71.43% NEUTRAL 2 28.57% NEGATIVE 0 0.00% TOTAL BIASES 7921 100% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 43
  • 44. 2012 U.S. Presidential Election: Percentage Breakdown of Bias in U.S. National Media Foundation for Democratic Advancement Negative Bias Positive Bias 26.40% 26.17% Neutral Bias 47.43%The pie chart captures the percentage breakdown of the total national media coverage in terms ofstories with positive, neutral, and negative bias. The breakdown is based on the FDA‟s datacollection in the last 32 days of the U.S. presidential election, in which 7,921 data points werecollected (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 44
  • 45. Ranking of American national media total coverage Presidential Candidates Total Media Coverage1. Barack Obama 54%2. Mitt Romney 44.75%3. Gary Johnson 0.62%4. Jill Stein 0.30%5. Virgil Goode 0.27%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.09%Ranking of American national media total positive biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Positive Coverage1. Barack Obama 27.22%2. Mitt Romney 24.68%3. Gary Johnson 0.14%4. Jill Stein 0.09%5. Virgil Goode 0.06%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.06%Ranking of American national media total neutral biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Neutral Coverage1. Mitt Romney 48.24%2. Barack Obama 47.23%3. Gary Johnson 0.37%4. Virgil Goode 0.19%5. Jill Stein 0.18%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.03%Ranking of American national media total negative biased coverage Presidential Candidates Total Negative Coverage1. Mitt Romney 27.08%2. Barack Obama 25.56%3. Gary Johnson 0.1%4. Jill Stein 0.03%5. Virgil Goode 0.01%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0% Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 45
  • 46. Total U.S. National Media Coverage Foundation for Democratic Advancement 1. Barack 2. Mitt Obama Romney 54% 44.75% 3. All other candidates 1.25%The pie chart captures the total national media coverage (including online content) of the 2012U.S. presidential candidates from the FDA‟s 7,921 data points (Foundation for DemocraticAdvancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 46
  • 47. Analysis of American National Press, Radio, and Television FindingsBarack Obama had a clear advantage over Mitt Romney in the U.S. national television coverageof the 2012 election. In the last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection,Obama had 9.25 percent more total media coverage than Romney. This Obama advantage isincreased by the facts that Obama had 2.54 percent more positive media coverage than Romney,and Obama had 1.52 percent less negative media coverage than Romney. Both candidates hadsimilar percentage of neutral coverage: 48.24 percent for Romney to 47.23 percent for Obama.U.S. national media coverage of third-party presidential candidates was almost non-existent. Inthe last 32 days of the election and based on the FDA‟s data collection, third-party candidateshad 1.25 percent of the total media coverage, while Obama and Romney had 98.75 percent of thetelevision coverage.The U.S. national media had 21.03 percent more content with neutral bias than content withnegative bias: 47.43 percent to 26.40 percent. Also, the U.S. national media had 21.26 percentmore content with neutral bias than content with positive bias: 47.43 percent to 26.17 percent.The U.S. national media‟s negative coverage and positive coverage has a 0.33 percent difference. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 47
  • 48. The bar chart captures the total media exposure in terms of biases of the American politicalparties and their presidential candidates from the FDA data collection. The total of the negative,neutral, and positive biases for each party and candidate represents the total coverage for eachparty and candidate from the FDA data collection. The vertical axis in the bar chart representsthe number of media data and thereby total coverage (Foundation for Democratic Advancement,2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 48
  • 49. The bar chart captures the total media exposure in terms of percentage biases of the Americanpolitical parties and their presidential candidates from the FDA data collection. The bar chartfactors in percentage of coverage as well. Barack Obama had more total coverage than MittRomney. In addition, Romney had a greater percentage of negative coverage as compared toObama, and Obama had a greater percentage of positive coverage as compared to Romney. Thethird-party candidates had 1.25 percent of the total media coverage from the FDA data collectionof 7,921 data points (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 49
  • 50. Chapter Three: AnalysisChapter Three will provide an overall analysis of the FDA’s media measurements.In the three media areas, Barack Obama had a media coverage advantage over Mitt Romney.Overall, Obama had 9.25 percent more total media coverage than Romney.In addition, Obama had more positive bias coverage and less negative bias coverage (thanRomney) in all areas of the study with the exception of the national radio sector.Even though Obama had 39.48 percent more negative coverage in the radio sector, Obama had17.04 percent more total coverage in the radio sector than Romney.The American election results were almost identical to the total media coverage results in termsof election ranking and very similar in terms of percentage of candidates‟ media coverage andpercentage of candidates‟ popular vote with an average deviation of 1.07 percent. FDA RESULTS Democratic Party (Barack Obama) TOTAL 4,277 54.00% Republican Party (Mitt Romney) TOTAL 3,545 44.75% Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) TOTAL 48 0.61% Green Party (Jill Stein) TOTAL 23 0.29% Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) TOTAL 21 0.27% All Other Parties/Candidates TOTAL 7 0.09% 7,921 ACTUAL RESULTS - POPULAR VOTE Democratic Party (Barack Obama) TOTAL 65,464,068 50.95% Republican Party (Mitt Romney) TOTAL 60,781,275 47.31% Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) TOTAL 1,272,558 0.99% Green Party (Jill Stein) TOTAL 465,766 0.36% Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) TOTAL 121,114 0.09% All Other Parties/Candidates TOTAL 371,376 0.29% 128,476,157 Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 50
  • 51. U.S. Presidential FDA ACTUAL Candidates DIFFERENCE RANKING RANKING Democratic Party (Barack Obama) -2.55% 1 1 Republican Party (Mitt Romney) 3.04% 2 2 Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) -0.38% 3 3 Green Party (Jill Stein) -0.07% 4 4 Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) 0.17% 5 5 All Other Parties/Candidates -0.20% 6 6 6.42% Total Deviance Average 1.07% DevianceFoundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 51
  • 52. Ranking of American national press total coverage compared to popular vote results Presidential Candidates Total Press 2012 U.S. Presidential Popular Vote Coverage Results1. Barack Obama 53.51% 50.95%2. Mitt Romney 44.83% 47.31%3. Gary Johnson 0.84% 0.99%4. Jill Stein 0.34% 0.36%5. Virgil Goode 0.34% 0.09%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.14% 0.29%Ranking of American national radio total coverage compared to popular vote results Presidential Candidates Total Radio 2012 U.S. Presidential Popular Vote Results Coverage1. Barack Obama 58.32% 50.95%2. Mitt Romney 41.28% 47.31%3. Gary Johnson 0.33% 0.99%4. Jill Stein 0.07% 0.36%5. Virgil Goode 0.0% 0.09%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.0% 0.29%Ranking of American national television total coverage compared to popular vote results Presidential Candidates Total Television 2012 U.S. Presidential Popular Vote Coverage Results1. Barack Obama 51.98% 50.95%2. Mitt Romney 46.95% 47.31%3. Gary Johnson 0.36% 0.99%4. Jill Stein 0.36% 0.36%5. Virgil Goode 0.31% 0.09%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.04% 0.29%Ranking of American national media total coverage compared to popular vote results Presidential Candidates Total Media 2012 U.S. Presidential Popular Vote Coverage Results1. Barack Obama 54.0% 50.95%2. Mitt Romney 44.75% 47.31%3. Gary Johnson 0.61% 0.99%4. Jill Stein 0.29% 0.36%5. Virgil Goode 0.27% 0.09%6. All Other Candidates/Parties 0.09% 0.29%As shown in the tables above, the U.S. national television coverage most closely matched theU.S. popular vote results, followed by the national newspaper coverage, total media coverage,and national radio coverage. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 52
  • 53. The national radio sector was the most critical of the three media areas, as evidenced by the radiosector having 24.59 percent more negative bias than the national television sector, and 22.35percent more negative bias than the national television sector.The national television sector (of the three media areas) was the least critical, as evidenced bythe television sector having 1.3 percent more neutral bias than the national newspaper sector, and23.66 percent more neutral bias than the national radio sector.In all three media sectors, the media coverage of third-party candidates was almost non-existent.All third-party candidates received 1.26 percent of the total media coverage as compared to98.74 percent for Obama and Romney.The FDA researchers identified ownership concentration issues in the U.S. national television,press, and radio sectors. The ownership issues are:1. NBC Nightly News and ABC World News have 61.03 percent of the National NewsNetworks, Cable News, and Public News market in terms of prime time audience.NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, and CBS Evening News have 82.22 percent of theNational News Networks, Cable News, and Public News market in terms of prime timeaudience.Related to these ownership percentages, the national television sector as mentioned above wasthe least critical in content as compared to the newspaper and radio sectors. Also, there is cross-ownership between the three media sectors, so these television companies have even moreinfluence over the American electorate. For example, CBS Corporation owns 29 televisionstations and CBS Radio and 130 radio stations.2. Bain Capitol /Thomas H. Lee Partners (Clear Channel) has control and/or access to 41.08percent of American radio stations. The American radio audience is around 170 million.However, Bain Capitol/Thomas H. Lee Partners have no cross-ownership in the newspaper andtelevision sectors. Also, based on the FDA‟s data collection, the radio sector has the most criticalcontent as compared to the newspaper and television sectors. Further, Bain Capitol/Thomas H.Lee Partner‟s have only 26.91 percent of the American talk radio show market (based on theaudiences for the top 38 American talk radio shows) and control over 866 U.S. radio stations outof 14,278 U.S. radio stations.3. The top 10 newspaper companies in terms of circulation numbers own 66.84% of the U.S.newspaper market. The 34 other newspaper companies own 33.16% of the U.S. newspapermarket. These findings are based on a U.S. newspaper market defined by the 100 top U.S.newspapers in terms of circulation. The top 10 newspaper companies are independent of eachother in terms of parent ownership. In this study, the national newspaper sector had the lowestnegative bias coverage, and at the same time, the highest positive bias coverage. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 53
  • 54. The timeline chart captures the total media coverage of Obama and Romney, and in comparisonto five major events in the last 32 days of the 2012 U.S. presidential election. In terms of overallcoverage, Obama received an increase in coverage from four of the five key political eventsidentified in the chart. As illustrated in the timeline chart, the FDA researchers observed declinesin campaign coverage for each of the four weekend periods included in the study. These declinesare the result of talk radio broadcasts not being aired on the weekends, and declines in campaigncoverage during weekend periods for the press and television.Obama received a more sustained increase in coverage and higher coverage from the 4th debate(and final presidential debate) than he received from Hurricane Sandy. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 54
  • 55. In addition, Obama received the second highest daily coverage from the 3rd debate (secondpresidential debate). Obama had 192 data points compared to Romney‟s 162. During this period,the media attention was on Obama after his poor first debate performance and the Benghazihearing. (The highest daily coverage was on November 6th, Election Day.)Only one day in this 32 day time line of total media coverage did Romney eclipse the mediacoverage of Obama: October 10th—day of the Benghazi hearing. Romney had 138 data pointscompared to Obama‟s 126. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 55
  • 56. Chapter Four: ConclusionChapter Four will provide a conclusion based on the FDA’s findings and analysis.The FDA‟s findings show conclusively that campaign coverage is a major issue in Americanpresidential democracy. There is overwhelming evidence that the U.S. major media coveragewas titled significantly in Obama‟s favor, as illustrated by Obama having 54 percent of the totalmedia coverage compared to Romney having 44.75 percent. In the last 32 days of thepresidential election, Romney‟s total daily media coverage eclipsed Obama‟s total coverage onlyonce. In addition, third-party presidential candidates were practically non-existent in the totalmedia coverage, receiving a mere 1.26 percent combined total media coverage. Further, the threemajor U.S. broadcasters have an oligopoly over prime time news coverage with an 82.22 percentaudience market share.The FDA believes that these electoral fairness issues stem from a highly unregulated Americanfederal electoral system in terms of campaign coverage. The American public and private mediahave free reign to determine their own election content during campaign periods. There is norequirement for broad and balanced election coverage nor are there media ownershipconcentration laws which prevent media oligopolies and monopolies except in the case ofuncompetitive practices. This excessive media freedom potentially undermines the media‟sfundamental election purpose of helping to fully inform the electorate of their electoral choices.Consequently, in the 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Report, American federal media legislationreceived an audit score of 42.5 percent out of 100 percent. This failing score is confirmed by thefindings of this report.As most Americans are fully aware, unregulated freedom will likely lead to ill consequences aswitnessed by the recent corruption and mismanagement of the highly unregulated U.S. financialsector. The same consequences apply to the media sector especially during the campaign periods.What would have been the outcome of the 2012 presidential election if Romney received thesame total media coverage as Obama? How would the third-party presidential candidates fairedif they had 20 percent of the total media coverage rather than just 1.25 percent?The issue at stake is the legitimacy of American federal democracy. Under the current mediaarrangement, the U.S. national media has significant power to influence the American electorateand thereby the election outcome. The media‟s influence is evidenced by the facts that the U.S.national media campaign coverage in terms of candidate ranking correlated exactly to theranking of the U.S. popular voting results, and the percentage of candidates‟ news coveragecorrelated very similarly to the percentage of popular votes received by each candidate. Yet,democracy especially at election time is about the voice of the electorate. The only role of themedia is to help fully inform the electorate about their electoral choices, and then let theelectorate decide the election outcome. The media study presents significant evidence that thisdid not take place in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 56
  • 57. Chapter Five: RecommendationsChapter Five will set out the FDA’s recommendations on how the fairness of Americaspresidential election coverage and media legislation may be improved.Presently, the U.S. public and private media is unregulated in terms of the election contentduring election periods. As illustrated by the media‟s coverage of the 2012 U.S. PresidentialElection, this unregulated state is failing to create broad, balanced, and complete campaigncoverage, and thereby an electorate inadequately and incompletely informed of their electoralchoices. U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and the 1St Amendment of the U.S.Constitution emphasize the high importance and protection of political free speech. The U.S.Judiciary‟s extreme emphasize on political free speech has come at the cost of political fairnessand equality: freedom alone guarantees that those individuals and organizations with moreeconomic and political power will have significantly more influence on electoral discourse, andthereby influence the election outcome. Freedom balanced with fairness and equality guaranteesthat no individuals and organizations will dominate the electoral discourse, and that electionoutcomes will more accurately reflect the voice of the electorate.To rectify this serious election deficiency through paradoxically over emphasis on political freespeech, the FDA recommends that the U.S. Congress legislate a media code of conduct duringthe 60 day federal electioneering period and the 30 day electioneering period prior to theprimaries.The main points of the U.S. media code of conduct are 1. During the entire 60 day and 30 day federal electioneering periods, the U.S. major media in the television, radio, and newspaper sectors (including online), are required to present broad, balanced, and complete news coverage and related information of registered presidential candidates and parties. Broad coverage means coverage of all registered candidates and parties subject to limitations. Balanced coverage means equal weekly coverage of all registered candidates and parties in terms of number of stories and editorials by the newspaper sector, number of stories, news items, and interviews by the radio and television sectors subject to limitations on equal coverage. Complete coverage means comprehensive coverage of all registered candidates and parties platforms and backgrounds. 2. Third-party presidential candidates are guaranteed 20 percent of the weekly coverage for major presidential candidates, subject to the third-party candidates having at least 0.5 percent popular support from the electorate. Third-party candidates who do not meet this popularity threshold have no guaranteed coverage. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 57
  • 58. 3. The U.S. media code of conduct places no restrictions on the free speech of the media, except by requiring a framework of campaign coverage and complete coverage of all relevant and registered candidates and parties. The media‟s opinions themselves are not regulated. 4. Federal Election Commission is empowered to monitor the media during the 60 day election periods, and enforce the code of conduct. 5. Media companies which fail to uphold the media code of conduct are subject to fines, suspension of campaign coverage, and loss of media license based on the severity of a violation(s) and history of violations.This media code of conduct would eliminate the need for media ownership concentration laws,because all major media would be required to have broad, balanced, and complete campaigncoverage.The current issue of almost non-existent media coverage of third-party presidential candidateswould be addressed through guaranteed 20 percent weekly coverage subject to having at least 0.5percent popular support.The current issue of the media‟s significant influence on the electorate and electoral discoursewould be addressed through the requirement of broad, balanced, and complete campaigncoverage.The media code of conduct‟s impact on media companies‟ profits would be mitigated by allmajor media being required to follow the code of conduct, and therefore no media would have anunfair content advantage. In addition, the code of conduct only applies to the 60 day and 30 dayelectioneering periods. In a four year election cycle, this requirement on the media is only 90days out 1,460 days.Even though U.S. federal candidates and political parties, through federal election law, haveequal access to media and are charged equally by the media for advertisements, equal access tomedia and equal cost of advertisements do not necessarily translate into broad, balanced, andcomplete campaign coverage. Ability to advertisement through the media is subject to ability topay. In addition, the media content itself is separate from political advertisements, and as theU.S. Media Study shows, it can impact election discourse and ultimately the election outcome. Inhis article, “Election Campaign Broadcasting in Transitional Democracies: Problems, Principlesand Guidelines,” P. Merloe came to the same conclusion arguing that biased broadcast news caninfluence the election outcome even if there is equal access to broadcast media. (Merloe, 1994).Examples of Media Codes of Conduct during elections and studies on them 1. Malawi Media Code of Conduct (Malawi Code, 2008). The Malawi Code includes a requirement for balanced and impartial election coverage. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 58
  • 59. 2. Guyana Media Code of Conduct (Guyana Elections Commission, 2000). The Guyana Code requires balanced and accurate election coverage.3. In 2010, Somaliland journalists adopted to Code of Conduct to guide their coverage of Somaliland elections. The Code of Conduct is limited to journalist practices (Somalilandpress, 2010).4. Tanzania Media Code of Conduct (Tanzania Code, 2010). The media of conduct is limited to codes for journalists during elections. There is no overall code of conduct to guide the media.5. Codes of Conduct for Elections (Goodwin-Gill, 1998). This report examines role of media during elections and discusses the need for media codes of conduct during elections.6. Pakistan Media Code of Conduct during elections (Hadi, Aziz, 2012). The Pakistan code limit election news to the election period, negative news stories are restricted, personal stories on candidates disallowed, and media companies disallowed from accepting funds which create a conflict of interest.7. Venezuela Media Code of Conduct (Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Electoral Fairness Audit Report on Venezuela, 2012). Venezuelan Constitutional and Election law requires the candidates and parties to adhere to daily caps on mass media advertisements and the media itself is legally required to present balanced and complete campaign coverage. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 59
  • 60. ReferencesAfrican Elections Project. (2012). The Malawi Media Code of Conduct 2008. Retrieved from: http://www.africanelections.org/malawi/knowledgecenter/?knw=27arbitron.com. (2012). Radio Today. Retrieved from:http://www.arbitron.com/downloads/Radio_Today_2012_execsum.pdfAudit Bureau of Circulations. (2012). Average Circulation at the Top 25 U.S. Daily Newspapers. Retrieved from: http://accessabc.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/the-top-u-s-newspapers-for- march-2012/Benton Foundation. (2012). How Many TV and Radio Stations Are There? Retrieved from: http://benton.org/node/65435Federal Communications Commission. (2012). Low Power FM Broadcast Radio Stations. Retrieved from: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/low-power-fm-broadcast-radio- stations-lpfmFederal Communications Commission. (2010). 2010 Review of Media Ownership Rules. Retrieved from: http://transition.fcc.gov/ownership/ Federal Communications CommissionFoundation for Democratic Advancement. (2012). 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report on the U.S. Federal Electoral System. Retrieved from: http://democracychange.org/2012/10/2012-fda-electoral-fairness-report-on-the-united- states/Foundation for Democratic Advancement. (2012). 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report on the Venezuelan Federal Electoral System. Retrieved from: http://democracychange.org/2012/10/2012-fda-global-electoral-fairness-report-on- venezuela/freepress.net. (2012). Media Ownership Chart. Retrieved from: http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chartGoodwin-Gill, S, Guy. (1998). Codes of Conduct for Elections. Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved from: http://www.ipu.org/PDF/publications/CODES_E.pdfGuyana Elections Commission. (2000). Media Code of Conduct. Retrieved from: http://www.gecom.org.gy/media_code_of_conduct.htmlHadi, Aziz. (2012). ECP issues strict media code of conduct for elections. Retrieved from: http://www.mec.org.mw/Elections/CodesOfConduct/MalawiMedia/tabid/88/Default.aspx Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 60
  • 61. Ledbetter, James. (2011). Looking Beyond Schiller‟s Signoff from NPR. Retrieved from: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/tag/npr/Merloe, P. (1994). Election Campaign Broadcasting in Transitional Democracies: Problems, Principles and Guidelines. Article 19.npr.org. (2010). 2010 NPR Annual Report. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/annualreports/NPR_AnnualReport_2010.pdfPew Research Center. (2012). Audio: How Far Will Digital Go? Retrieved from: http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/audio-how-far-will-digital-go/?src=prc-sectionPew Research Center. (2012). In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable Trends in News Consumption: 1991-2012. Retrieved from: http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/section-1-watching-reading-and-listening-to- the-news-3/Pew Research Center. (2012). Internet Gains Most as Campaign News Source but Cable TV Still Leads. Retrieved from: http://www.journalism.org/commentary_backgrounder/social_media_doubles_remains_li mitedPew Research Center. (2012). State of News Media 2012. Retrieved from: http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/network-news-the-pace-of-change-accelerates/?src=prc- sectionpremiereradio.com. (2012). Corporate. Retrieved from: http://www.premiereradio.com/pages/corporate/about.htmlSomililandpress. (2010). SOMALILAND: Journalists sign „media Code of Conduct‟ before elections. Retrieved from: http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-journalists-sign-media- code-of-conduct-before-elections-13455TALKERS Magazine. (2012). The Top Talk Radio Audience. Retrieved from: http://www.talkers.com/top-talk-radio-audiences/Talking Biz News. (2011). CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg Television and market share. Retrieved from: http://www.talkingbiznews.com/1/cnbc-fox-business-bloomberg- television-and-market-share/Tanzania Media Code of Conduct. (2010). Retrieved from: http://www.tz.undp.org/ESP/docs/Legal_Documents/Media_code_of_conduct_for_electi on_reporting_Tzmainland2010.PDFU.S. Supreme Court. Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission (No. 08-205). 2010. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 61
  • 62. Retrieved from the Cornell University Law School website: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.htmlWikipedia. (2012). CNN. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNNWikipedia. (2012). HLN. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLN_%28TV_channel%29Wikipedia. (2012). List of Newspapers in the United States by Circulation. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_States_by_circulationWikipedia. (2012). List of United States Radio Networks. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_radio_networksWikipedia. (2012). NPR. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPRWikipedia. (2012). PBS. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBSWikipedia. (2012). Radio in the United States. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_in_the_United_StatesWikipedia. (2012). Television News in the United States. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_news_in_the_United_StatesWikipedia. (2012). United States Presidential Election, 2012. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012 Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 62
  • 63. Research MethodologyMethodology of the U.S. Media Study:The methodology is comprised of two major components: research and data collection. Inprevious media studies, the FDA consulted Dr. Mark Wolfe, Communications Specialist fromMount Royal University, Alberta, Canada on the methodology of its media study.Research:The FDA Study focuses on the U.S. major media in the newspaper, radio, and television sectors(including online). This approach targets large sectors of the U.S. media market in order to forma reasonable picture of what occurred in the media during the 2012 American PresidentialElection. The FDA researched media ownership in each sector, and selected media companieswith significant national circulation to be part of the study. In the newspaper sector, the FDAresearchers identified seven newspapers with high circulation and in all major regions of theUnited States. In the television sector, the FDA researchers identified seven major newsnetworks based on viewership. However, the radio sector proved difficult due to the largenumber of ownership groups and talk radio shows. The FDA researchers chose five radioprograms based on viewership, gender to talk show host, and public versus private company. Theradio companies in the study cover corporations with 25.15% of the total American news/talkradio/information audience. There are 14,274 full powered American radio stations and 170million American radio audience.The FDA media study is limited to seven national newspaper companies, five national radioprograms, and seven television news networks. Therefore, especially in the case of the radiosector, the media results in terms of determining the percentage of election coverage per partyare limited to 25.15 percent of the radio market. The FDA accepts this limitation, and it willincrease the number of corporations/programs/shows in future American media studiesespecially in the radio sector.Data Collection:A twelve-person team, comprised of FDA members and guided by non-partisanship andobjectivity, conducted the Study‟s data collection. Each member of the team is responsible fortracking a particular news production whether a newspaper, radio show, or television newsprogram. In addition, members record data into spreadsheets, and recheck data with mediasources in case of discrepancy with overall data entries. Completed data from each member isthen compiled into a master spreadsheet and used for analysis.In the all three media sectors, the FDA data collectors focus on the bias of news stories. TheFDA data collectors determine whether or not a particular story has a positive, neutral, ornegative bias to one or more presidential candidate. The basic criterion for determining bias iswhether or not the story encourages the electorate to vote for or against a presidential candidateor his or her party. There may be more than one bias in a story, such as a story which praises theeconomic policies of one candidate while attack the economic policies of another candidate. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 63
  • 64. Stories on Party Biases in Stories: Biases in stories encourage the electorate and/or Candidates: to vote for or against a candidate or party; stories may be Stories directly on the neutral; only one bias per story. Please input numeric for which party or leaders and bias is present. Each story will have a bias under one of either candidates who positive, neutral, or negative. Also, ensure that biases apply comprise the party. only to the dominant party or candidate in the story, unless it is One mark per story; split equally two or more ways. may be a mark for more than one party. Note: Numeric must be input for the DOMINANT bias towards party/candidate in the story. Each story MAY have more than one bias (there must be an equal split between biases for this to occur). POSITIVE NEUTRAL NEGATIVE Republican Party (Mitt Romney) 5 1 4 Democratic Party (Barack Obama) 4 3 1 Libertarian Party (Gary Johnson) 0 Green Party (Jill Stein) 0 Constitution Party (Virgil Goode) 0 All Other Parties/Candidates 0 TOTALS 9 4 0 5The table shows a data capture sheet. The total biases automatically add up to the total storiesdirectly on presidential candidates and parties. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 64
  • 65. Document Biases: Please document the reason for bias. A bias must encourage the electorate to vote for a party (or candidate) or against a party (or candidate).Republican Party Neg: College Football might lose Ohio(Mitt Romney) for Mitt Romney; Pos: GOP holds Super Saturday turnout effort; Neg: Obama bashes Romney with pop culture; Neg: Obama-Romneys latest issue: Bid Bird; Neg: New Obama ad on Romney: DishonestDemocratic Party Pos: Obama brings in $181 million in(Barack Obama) September; Pos: Obama touts 7.8% jobless rate; Pos: Obama campaign raised $181M in September; Neg: Economists debunk Jack Welchs jobs tweetLibertarian Party(Gary Johnson)Green Party (JillStein)Constitution Party(Virgil Goode)All OtherParties/CandidatesThe table is an example of the capture of reasons for news biases by FDA data collectors.The FDA chose to track positive, neutral, and negative news stories, in order to measure bias inmedia content. The FDA reduced subjectivity in this measurement by having non-partisan,objective, and educated data collectors from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. In addition, datacollectors are required to record the reason for each recorded bias. The FDA created supportmechanisms for all data collectors in order to address issues as they occurred, such as uncertaintyregarding the particular bias of a story. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 65
  • 66. Limitations:The FDA media study is limited to the last 32 days of campaign period. Therefore, it is possiblethe study results may not correlate to entire 60 day campaign period. However, this fact does notcancel out the evidence of bias coverage in the 32 days of the campaign period. Although theAmerican presidential election was characterized by a two candidate race, the FDA does notaccept this as justification for the biased coverage, because the significant biased coverage infavor of Obama over Romney, and the almost non-existent coverage of third-party candidates.The FDA acknowledges the subjectivity of determining biases. However, every election storyhas a bias whether positive, neutral, or negative. Obviously, how an individual reads and/orinterprets the meaning of a story will impact the story‟s bias. The FDA has no control over howan individual reads or interprets stories. The FDA has control over determining objectively theunderlining bias of a story by showing reasons why, for example, a story encourages theelectorate to vote for a candidate over another. These reasons in most cases are factual.The Study is also limited by covering only nineteen news sources. Obviously, the reliability ofthe Study results would be improved by tracking more news sources. However, the FDA didtrack major news sources in the three media sectors:47.66 percent of the newspaper market for the largest 100 U.S. newspapers (based oncirculation)25.15 percent of the radio news/talk/information market97.72 percent of the National News Networks, Cable News, and Public News market.In future studies and to produce more reliable results, the FDA should cover more of the radionews/talk/information market and newspaper market, so that the data in all three sectors are over50 percent of the respective markets. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 66
  • 67. Appendix2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Results for the U.S. Federal Electoral System, MediaPolitical ContentThis chapter focuses on American‟s media laws and the FDAs audit of them. Based on theconcepts of egalitarianism and political liberalism, the FDA audit team examined media lawsaccording to the standard of broad and balanced political coverage before, during and after acampaign period (see Appendix for further explanation). The Table 1 below shows the FDA‟saudit variables, their corresponding audit weights, and results:Table 1 Media Election % Subsection Numerical Audit % Results Coverage Section Audit Weight Subsection Audit Results Variables WeightBroad and Balanced 30% 3.0 0.0 0.0%Election CoverageMedia Ownership 15% 1.5 0.0 0.0%Survey/Polls 5% 0.5 0.25 50%Freedom of Media 40% 4.0 4.0 100%Press Code of 10% 1.0 0.0 0.0%Practice/ConductVariables from Other n/a n/a n/a n/aSectionsTotal 100% 10 4.25 42.50%Broad and Balanced Political CoverageAudit Questions1) During the campaign period, is the media (private and public) required legally to publish/broadcast broad/balanced coverage of registered candidates and parties?2) Outside of the campaign period, is the media legally required to publish/broadcast pluralistic/balanced coverage of registered parties?3) If the media is legally required to publish/disseminate broad and balanced political coverage, are there reasonable monitoring and penalty mechanisms in place?Legislative ResearchAny cost incurred in a news story, commentary, or editorial by media (broadcaster, press, website, magazine, or other periodical) is not a political contribution if the media organization is notowned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidates (Code of FederalRegulations, Section 100.29). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 67
  • 68. There is no legal requirement for equal opportunity for a newscast, interview, documentary (ifthe appearance of a candidate is incidental to the documentarys subject matter), or news event,including debates, political conventions and related incidental activities. Media has an obligationto present news in the “public interest” and “afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion ofconflicting views of issues of public importance” (Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100.29).Communications by state or local candidates that do support or oppose a candidate are notconsidered to be electioneering communications (Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100.29).Electioneering communications are limited to paid programming and only apply to the 60 dayperiod prior to a general election or the 30 day period before a primary election for federal office,including elections in which a candidate is unopposed (Code of Federal Regulations, Section100.29).Noncommercial educational broadcasting stations may support or oppose any candidate foroffice. This broadcast restriction does not apply to editorializing in the public interest (U.S.Code, Title 47: Telegraphs, Telephones, and Telegraphs, Section 399).Media entities online news content is not considered contributions or expenditures. The mediaexemptions apply to all bloggers and others who communicate on the internet unless the facilityincluding website is owned or controlled by a political party, candidate or a political committee(Internet Communications and Activity, 2012).Any corporation or labor organization may donate funds to support a debate conducted by anonprofit organization. The debate must not support or oppose any candidate or party, besponsored by a broadcaster, newspaper, magazine, other circulation periodical publication, andinclude at least two candidates who meet face to face, does not promote one candidate over theother. In a primary election, organizations staging a debate may restrict candidates to thoseseeking nomination of one party, and in a general election may not use nomination of a particularparty as the sole criterion for debate participants. Staging organizations must use preestablishedobjective criteria to determine participants (Code of Federal Regulations, Section 114.4(f)).Audit FindingsThe FDA auditors found no legislation requiring the media to provide broad and balancedpolitical coverage during the 60 day campaign period or outside of the campaign period.Media Ownership Concentration LawsAudit Questions1) If there are media concentration laws, are they effective in causing a plurality of political discourse? Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 68
  • 69. 2) If there is no legal requirement of media plurality, impartiality, and balanced content or media ownership concentration laws, are there any other laws that are effective in causing a plurality of political discourse before and during an election period?Legislative ResearchThere are no U.S. media ownership concentration laws. The U.S. media concentration isregulated by U.S. general antitrust laws. U.S. antitrust laws are rooted in the Sherman AntitrustAct (1890), which provides remedy against monopoly or attempt to monopolize. The Act doesnot necessarily ban monopolies; it bans monopolies, which stem from anti-competitive conductsuch as price fixing, bid rigging, or agreed market allocation by competitors (StatutoryProvisions and Guidelines of the Antitrust Division, 2012; Sherman Antitrust Act, 2012).Audit FindingsThe FDA auditors found no legislation limiting media ownership concentration. The U.S.Antitrust Laws, which provide a remedy against monopoly and/or attempts to monopolize, haveno impact on media ownership concentration unless the concentration derives from anti-competitive conduct.Surveys/PollsAudit Question1) Are there reasonable public disclosure requirements on surveys and polls in terms of their methodology, data, and funder?Legislative ResearchThe FDA researches could find no legislation on the public discloser of the methodology anddata sources of survey and polls. However, associations such as the National Council on PublicPolls (NCPP) and American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) advocate publicdisclosure requirements for their members.The NCPP is an association of polling organizations that sets professional standards for publicopinion pollsters. The association recommends three levels of disclosure. The first level calls forone of its member associations to publicly release information, such as sponsorship, samplingmethod used, population and size of sample, and survey methods. The second level of disclosurepertains to specific written requests regarding any survey findings publicly released by NCCPmembers. These requests can include the exact wording of an introduction, details of anyincentives given to survey participants, and any description of weighting procedures togeneralize data. Finally, the third level of disclosure encourages its members to release rawdatasets, and post complete survey questions used in their surveys (Principles of Disclosure,2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 69
  • 70. The Standards of Disclosure in the AAPOR‟s Code of Professional Ethics & Practices states thatthe final reports of members will include the sponsors, conductors, and all original fundingresources. The Code also requires the disclosure of exact wording of questions, descriptions ofsample sizes and design, as well as the method and dates of data collection. In the event furtherinformation is requested concerning any given report, the members will have 30 days to providegreater details concerning sample design, summaries of dispositions, any relevant stimuli, andthe procedures undertaken to verify data (Code of Professional Ethics & Practices, 2010).Electioneering communications are limited to paid programming and only apply to the 60 periodprior to a general election or the 30 day period before a primary election for federal office,including elections in which a candidate is unopposed (Code of Federal Regulations, Section100.29).Broadcast political advertisements must display photographic or similar images of the candidate,a statement identifying the candidate, the candidates approval for the advertisement, and thecandidates authorized committee, which paid for the broadcast (The Public and Broadcasting:How to Get the Most Service from Your Local Stations, 2008; U.S. Code, Title 47, Section 315).Radio political advertisements must include a personal statement from the candidate, whichidentifies the candidate as well as the office the candidate is seeking, and indicates that thecandidate approved of the broadcast (The Public and Broadcasting: How to Get the Most Servicefrom Your Local Stations, 2008; U.S. Code, Title 47, Section 315).Paid political statements made through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdooradvertising facility, mailing, or any other type of general public political advertising must clearlydeclare the authorized political committee or other persons who paid for communication as wellas who authorized the other persons, such as a candidate or authorized political committee. Iftransmitted by television, the statements must include either an unobscured, full-screen views ofthe candidate or agent of the candidate making the statement, a voice-over, or both, and shallalso appear in a readable manner with a reasonable degree of color contrast between thebackground and the printed statement for a period of at least 4 seconds. If the political statementis not authorized by a candidate or political committee, the communication must state the nameand permanent street address, telephone number or World Wide Web address, of the person whopaid for the message and must also state that it is not authorized by a candidate or politicalcommittee (Code Federal Regulations, Section 441d).Audit FindingsThe FDA auditors found no legislation which required disclosure standards for survey andpolling organizations. Although there are private organizations which establish survey and polldisclosure standards, these standards are voluntary and contingent upon membership in theorganizations. The score of 0.25 reflects the fact that disclosure standards exist and that somepolling and survey organizations likely adhere to them. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 70
  • 71. Freedom of the MediaAudit Question1) Does constitutional or legislative law establish freedom of the media (including journalists)?Legislative ResearchAny corporation or labor organization may donate funds to support a debate conducted by anonprofit organization. The debate must not support or oppose any candidate or party, must besponsored by a broadcaster, newspaper, magazine, and/or other circulation periodicalpublication, must include at least two candidates who meet face to face, and does not promoteone candidate over the other. In a primary election, organization staging debate may restrictcandidates to those seeking nomination of one party, and in a general election may not usenomination of particular party as the sole basis for criterion for debate participants. Stagingorganization must use pre-established objective criteria to determine participants (Code ofFederal Regulations, Article 114.4(f)).Broadcast stations must provide reasonable access to federal candidates, during all stationsnormal broadcast schedule, including television prime time and radio drive time. The onlyexception to equal access is during bona fide news programming (The Public and Broadcasting:How to Get the Most Service from Your Local Stations, 2008; U.S. Code, Title 47, Article 315).Broadcast stations must provide equal airtime and equal opportunities to all registered federalcandidates. The only exception to equal airtime and equal opportunities is during bona fide newsprogramming, such as the appearance of a candidate on bona fide newscast, interview,documentary, or on the spot news event (including debates, political conventions and relatedincidental activities) (The Public and Broadcasting: How to Get the Most Service from YourLocal Stations, 2008; U.S. Code, Title 47, Article 315).Any cost incurred in a news story, commentary, or editorial by media (broadcaster, press, website, magazine, or other periodical) is not a political contribution if the media organization is notowned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidates (Code of FederalRegulations, Article 100.29).There is no legal requirement for equal opportunity for a newscast, interview, documentary (ifthe appearance of a candidate is incidental to the documentarys subject matter), or news eventincluding debates, political conventions and related incidental activities. Media has an obligationto present news in the “public interest” and “afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion ofconflicting views of issues of public importance” (Code of Federal Regulations, Article 100.29).Noncommercial educational broadcasting stations may support or oppose any candidate foroffice. This broadcast restriction does not apply to editorializing in the public interest (U.S.Code, Title 47: Telegraphs, Telephones, and Telegraphs, Section 399).Media entities online news content is not considered contributions or expenditures. The mediaexemptions apply to all bloggers and others who communicate on the internet unless the facility Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 71
  • 72. including website is owned or controlled by a political party, candidate or a political committee(Internet Communications and Activity, 2012).The U.S. Congress has legislative power (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 1), and the U.S.Congress must not make laws which prohibit or abridge freedom of speech, freedom of thepress, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble (U.S. Constitution, First Amendment,2012).Citizens of the United States cannot be denied life, liberty, or property without due process oflaw, and equal protection of the laws (U.S. Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1).All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States (U.S.Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1, 2012).Audit FindingsThe FDA auditors found nothing in the U.S. Constitution and legislation that wouldunreasonably limit the freedom of the press.Press Code of Practice/ConductAudit Questions1) Does a Code of Practice/Conduct that supports impartial, balanced electoral coverage guide the press?2) If a Code of Practice/Conduct that supports impartial, balanced electoral coverage guides the press, is the Code of Practice/Conduct enforceable?Legislative ResearchThe American Press Association has a code of conduct for journalists and photographers. TheAPA Code of Conduct does not cover elections, nor does it include impartial and balancedelection coverage. Members of the APA are expected to abide by the APA Code of Conduct(Code of Conduct Journalists and Photographers, 2012).The American Society of Newspaper Editors has a statement of principles. The Statement ofPrinciples includes impartiality in terms of distinguishing between fact and opinion. There areprinciples that pertain to elections or require balanced coverage. Each newspaper within theASNE has its own code of ethics. The FDA counted 34 different codes of ethics. The New YorkTimes is committed to be as impartial as possible “with fear or favor”, but there is norequirement that the newspaper have balanced election coverage. The FDA found no ethicalrequirement on any of the newspapers in the ASNE to have broad and balance electoral coverage(Code of Conduct, 2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 72
  • 73. The U.S. Congress has legislative power (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 1), and the U.S.Congress must not make law which prohibits or abridges freedom of speech, or the press, or rightof the people peaceably to assemble (U.S. Constitution, First Amendment, 2012).The freedom of the media cannot be regulated within extremes. A legislated press code ofconduct would be inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, First Amendment (Citizens United v.Federal Election Commission, 2010).The FDA researchers found no legislated press code of conduct.Audit FindingsThe FDA auditors found no legislation requiring a press Code of Practice/Conduct for impartial,balanced electoral coverage. Although private press organizations have a Code ofConduct/Ethics, adherence is voluntary. The FDA researchers examined 34 Code ofConducts/Ethics by members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and found noinstance of Code of Conduct/Ethics requiring impartial and/or balanced electoral coverage.Total score for the electoral fairness on media election coverage: 42.5 percent out of 100percent. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 73
  • 74. FDA Media Study Team & AssociatesFDA ResearchersMr. Steve Finley, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, Master ofBusiness Administration, Indiana University, and Juris Doctor, Valparaiso University.Mr. Stephen Garvey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia andMaster of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.Ms. Arden Matheson, Bachelor of Arts, University of Alberta, Bachelor of Library Science,University of Alberta, and Master of Library Science, University of British Columbia.FDA Data Collection TeamMs. Kelsey Angeley, Bachelor in Arts in Political Science, McGill University.Mr. Michael Fabris, Bachelor of Accounting, Brock University.Mr. Steve Finley, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, Master ofBusiness Administration, Indiana University, and Juris Doctor, Valparaiso University.Mr. Stephen Garvey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia andMaster of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.Ms. Jessica Lindal, Marketing Degree, SAIT Polytechnic, School of Business.Mr. Dale Monette, Bachelor of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan and Master ofAccounting (in progress), University of Saskatchewan.Mr. James Porter, Bachelors of Commerce in Accounting, University of Calgary andBachelors of Arts in Philosophy, University of CalgaryMs. Christie Rehmann, Bachelor of Social Work, University of Calgary and Masters of PublicAdministration, University of Regina.Ms. Leanna Seetahal, L.L.B., University of the West Indies.Mr. Michael Stephens, Degree in Business intelligence, SAIT Polytechnic.Ms. Mansharn Toor, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Sociology, Universityof Calgary.Ms. Shumin Zeng, Bachelor of Computer Science, Southwestern University of Finance. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 74
  • 75. Data TabulationMr. Dale Monette, Bachelor of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan and Master ofAccounting (in progress), University of Saskatchewan.Statistical Data Analysis and Graphic DesignMr. Michael Fabris, Bachelor of Accounting, Brock University.Report WriterMr. Stephen Garvey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia andMaster of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.Report ReviewersMr. Michael Fabris, Bachelor of Accounting, Brock University.Mr. Steve Finley, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, Master ofBusiness Administration, Indiana University, and Juris Doctor, Valparaiso University.Arden Matheson, Bachelor of Arts, University of Alberta, Bachelor of Library Science,University of Alberta, and Master of Library Science, University of British Columbia.Mr. Dale Monette, Bachelor of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan and Master ofAccounting (in progress), University of Saskatchewan.Mrs. Lindsay Tetlock, Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, University of Calgary andMaster of Arts in Historical Studies, University of Calgary. Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 U.S. Media Election Study Page 75