December 12, 2013

Media Matters

During October and November, ABC, NBC and CBS spent a good amount of their overage focusing on negative news about the Affordable Care Act, Media Matters reported Wednesday, while CBS spent more segments on the ACA than NBC and CBS combined.

Of all the stories aired in October and November, many more were negative than positive. Sixty-eight percent of ABC’s stories on the ACA were overwhelmingly negative, followed by NBC with 62 percent, and CBS with 46 percent. Ten percent of CBS stories were overwhelmingly positive, and zero NBC and ABC stories were positive.

Media Matters reports that they studied transcripts from all three networks between October 1 and Nov. 30, looking at ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

We only included segments in which the focus of the entire segment was the ACA. We coded each segment as positive, negative, or mixed, and then coded segments which featured individuals’ enrollment stories separately.

Last month, Poynter reported on a Pew study comparing coverage (though not the tone of that coverage) given to Obamacare and the typhoon in the Phillipines from MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and Al Jazeera America.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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