Project for Excellence in Journalism | Politico | The New York Times
A study of daily news coverage from more than 11,500 media outlets doesn't support claims that the media favors President Barack Obama. Reports reflecting negatively on Obama have outweighed positive ones 4 to 1; negative coverage of Obama dominated even during the week that Osama bin Laden was killed. Politico's Keach Hagey notes that "the top four most favorably covered candidates ... were all tea party favorites" -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Herman Cain. The Times' Brian Stelter reports that one reason for negative coverage of Obama is the large field of Republican candidates, all of whom have been criticizing the president. Hagey writes that the study "raises the question whether Democrats would be wise to take a page from the Republican playbook and begin working the media refs themselves," a strategy that worked for Hillary Clinton when she was running for president. “Beating up on the media actually does change how the media operates,” says journalist Richard Wolffe, who covered Obama for Newsweek.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that President Obama has received less positive coverage than the Republican presidential candidates.