PEJ launches multifaceted election news tracker

Project for Excellence in Journalism

As part of its election coverage, PEJ is now tracking how the candidates are doing according to volume and tone of news coverage and volume and tone of conversation on Twitter. PEJ is also aggregating coverage about the coverage and will track other metrics such as Google's measurements of searches, YouTube views and mentions of candidates on Google News. Based on those signals, PEJ concludes that Mitt Romney is getting the most negative coverage now than at any point in the race.

The findings suggest that while polls and horse race set a context for the way media portray the race, the narrative itself is dominated by the daily back and forth of the campaign dialogue. Thus while it may seem counterintuitive that Romney has a bad week after cementing his frontrunner status in New Hampshire, the coverage also reflects the intensifying attempts to blunt that momentum. And last week that centered on a debate over his career in private equity.

Related: Dan Zarrella compares the campaigns on Twitter, from followers and retweets to how much people are talking about them | Pew: Twitter chatter about GOP candidates less factual, more negativeWhy journalists struggle to cover Romney's record at Bain Capital (Poynter)

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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