Thursday, November 17, 2016

Where Are the Trump Supporters?

By: Megan Vanselow

Before the election, ABC News election coverage was dominated by negative stories about Donald Trump. They had stories about Hillary Clinton as well, but it often took serious digging to find one that was negative.

Now that the election is over and Donald Trump is the President-elect, the ABC News election section is dominated by stories about Clinton and the Democratic party with reactions from Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama.

Buried beneath these stories more negative headlines regarding the Trump Campaign and family. One headline that read "Big Questions from Donald Trump's 1st Week as President-Elect"was a story that started by praising Trump for being relatively laid back since announced the winner of the 2016 election. All paragraphs following the lead however, deeply fact check and compare the things he has said since elected compared to what he has said in the past.

Another article highlights the reactions of other World Leaders. It starts with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying he expects to be an ally with Trump, however, they follow it up with a quote from him during the election questioning Trumps credibility. Another was Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who said Trump's victory was well deserved. ABC News followed it up with several cases in which Duterte was not good to Obama or the United States, in an effort to discredit his praise of Trump.
The other article about Trump is about his Son-In-Law hasn't applied for a role in Trump's administration yet or for security clearance. In the middle of the article, it include links back to its other negative articles about him.

Finally at the bottom of its page, ABC News highlights again Trump's stances on different issues. I like that chose to get back to the things that are often lost during election media coverage. However, I think the reason's it posted his stances was to remind its readers of some of his crazy stances.

Whether or not ABC News or the rest of the country is happy about the result, Trump was the winner of the current system in the United States. It seems disrespectful to me for the media to continue to be biased against the President-elect. There are several side stories ABC had on its webpage about reactions from citizens that feel scared or angry, however there have to be citizens out there who are happy and relieved, because he had enough votes to win.

Evaluating the Election 2016

Christine Holmes |

The 2016 election was the first of hopefully many that I’ll cover as a reporter. In 2012, I was old enough to vote and understand the process, but I wasn’t looking at it through the lens of a journalist. I first began dipping my toes in presidential election coverage over the summer during the Republican National Convention. Though I wasn’t in Cleveland, I still played a role remotely in the newsroom in Youngstown. I monitored the special RNC scanner feed, listening for protests, arrests, etc. I also wrote stories that localized the RNC. However, it wasn’t until taking our election coverage class that I really immersed myself in the practice. I had a few main takeaways from the class to carry with me into future elections.

Local Commitment

The first is the importance of local election coverage. This means not only taking national issues and finding local angles, but also going in depth in community ballot issues, state races and local races.

I spent the first part of the semester analyzing election coverage at several stations in Ohio, and I concluded that the best coverage came from stations that focused on their own backyard rather than regurgitating wire stories. It serves hometown audiences no good to produce the same stories they could find in the national news.

This concept was further emphasized when we researched and covered local election issues for WOUB as part of this class. We learned the importance of local news outlet coverage of such issues when we put it to practice.

For example, of all the people I spoke to in the city of Logan in Hocking County, few to none were aware of the decriminalization act on their ballot. And even if they knew of the ordinance, it was all legal talk and not easily understandable for the average citizen. That’s where journalists can help.

We were able to learn the issue and explain it conversationally for the voters to understand. Without our coverage, they likely wouldn’t have had much information on the ordinance, and if they did, it’s even less likely it was balanced.

Another approach to local coverage is taking national stories regarding the presidential race and finding a way to apply them to local interests. For example, one station’s coverage I examined took Donald Trump’s social media posts about the station’s city and turned it into a story. Other avenues could include analyzing claims candidates make and seeing how they could impact communities at a local level, or by talking to residents to learn their opinions on the election.

National Scope

On the national level, this election was a complete mess for several reasons. Firstly, there’s the issue of the polls. Nearly every poll projected Hillary Clinton to be the next president. Even I believed it based off what I was learning in my research methods class.

We looked at the predictions from statistics experts who took several polls to create a better sampling distribution in order create a more generalizable prediction. However, Donald Trump was elected president. This can be explained by what was most likely a systematic error from the pollsters- so many new voters turned out this election and weren’t considered in the initial polls to account for sampling error.

No matter the explanation, it won’t make up for the loss of public trust. Those not in academia or the news media see the polling mistakes as the fault of individual news organizations like CNN and the New York Times. This leaves the future credibility of the polls at question, as well as the public perception of news outlets.

Also tarnishing the reputation of news media was president-elect, Donald Trump. He convinced many of his supporters to distrust the media and believe in a conspiracy that news outlets had a left-leaning agenda.

Though content analyses prove that the coverage of Trump received more coverage than Clinton, he was still able to convince people otherwise.

Even the New York Times issued somewhat of an apology to its readers for straying away from its core journalistic values during the election season.

Despite his claims and distaste for the media, Trump managed to attract national spotlight without spending much on advertising. He knew how to catch the attention of the same media he scrutinized, and pulled off a win no one saw coming.

The Future

Moving forward, journalists will need to regain their credibility. This doesn't mean their credibility come four years from now during the next election, but their credibility starting last week. Numerous studies show the decline in Americans' trust in their news sources, even before the election. So now, more than ever, journalists need to live by ethics codes and report the truth.

With Donald Trump as president, the job will be even harder. He continues to almost slander the news media. I'm also fearful of the lack of coverage he will allow in the White House. The pressure is on journalists to hold their ground and stand up for the integrity of journalism these next four years.

Trumping the Headlines

By Ann Jacob

It's safe to say that the nation (and the world) were glued to the media last Tuesday as Donald J. Trump swept up state after state after state. While many didn't think Trump had the win even as late as Tuesday afternoon, it didn't stop citizens and journalists alike from wondering, "Where did we go wrong?"

Now, over a week after the election, president-elect Donald Trump is stealing all the headlines but the question above is one that major networks and publications all across the country are still working to answer.

Fake Headlines - Hook, Line, and Sinker

If you saw a headline on your Facebook timeline reading something along the lines of, "Pope Francis Shocks the World, Endorses Donald Trump for President" and liked, shared, or commented on how good or bad it was that the Pope of all people was making endorsements, you've been fooled.
Even reputable groups can't decipher real v. fake news, meaning they are passing on false information to all of their followers and friends. Credit: Afghanistan And Israel People Friendship Association Facebook page.

CBS News probed into Buzzfeed's study of click bait articles. Apparently, during September, October, and November of 2016, Facebook users interacted with the top 20 fake election-related articles more than 8.7 million times. This number is shocking, however, the number of times users interacted with the top 20 stories from real publications is far more surprising - fewer than 7.4 million times. 

From Trump calling the media "scum" to "crooked" to the "lowest form of life", the media as a whole is getting a lot of bad publicity. President Obama understands the power of social media. Many will argue that it was the sole reason he clinched his 2012 win.

"As long as it's on Facebook and people can see it, as long as it's on social media, people start believing it. And it creates this dust cloud of nonsense," the president said.

Social Media Mogul Denies Election Influence

Interestingly, CBS pointed out that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disagreed. 
Mark Zuckerberg
Credit: Lluis Gene/Getty Images

"I think the idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way, I think is a pretty crazy idea."

Zuckerberg has also denied that Facebook is a media company, a comment to which hundreds disagreed.

This comment is especially interesting confounding considering these facts about Facebook.

According to Yahoo Finance, up until mid-August of 2016, Facebook paid a team to curate it's "Trending Topics" section. They also make editorial judgments on what kinds of content can be posted. Third, it is "outright bankrolling media producers like The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Vox, and Business Insider to create content for its Facebook Live video service." (CBS was not listed as a company paid by Facebook.) Lastly, earlier this summer, Facebook said it would be cracking down on apparent clickbait.

Most recently, CBS says Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook is looking for ways to flag fake news.

Ultimately, traditional networks like CBS will be caught in the bind if the internet doesn't figure out how to filter out false headlines. Many say they truth will prevail but when even the president-elect says things that he later admits are false, it's too late. The damage has been done and it's difficult to reverse. Similarly, when people read fake news without even knowing it's false, the damage could be permanent.

MSNBC After November 8th

Jackie McCrea

The Aftermath

Regardless of how you feel about the election, it was certainly one that will go down in history. With a nation divided, we are far from the coverage cooling down anytime soon. The most exciting coverage to watch was, of course, election night. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, weighed in when the results became clear and she held absolutely nothing back. Though MSNBC is an incredibly liberal network, I was still a bit surprised about how candidly she spoke.

Courtesy of

I do acknowledge that the results of the election were a major upset for Clinton supporters, but I also think there needs to be some line drawn on reporting. It seems almost unethical to be so biased in one way, even if you do host an opinionated TV segment. I personally believe her commentary seemed like more of an emotional response than a professional one. In fact, YouTube videos of the clip refer to it as the "Maddow Meltdown."

Decision 2016

Because of the major Republican wins during this election period, MSNBC has spent quite some time covering the party, something that is sort of unusual for them. Most articles on the homepage are regarding Trump's foreign policy plan, his plan for his first 100 days and how he is handling the transition into President Elect. As I have observed this website over the past couple months, it is rare to see an article that is not negatively slanted toward Donald Trump. However, every network is beginning to come to terms with the election results and focusing more on reporting than endorsing a particular candidate, which is refreshing.

Of course, there is also coverage on the Democratic party and how they will repair the break that they experienced in the most recent election. Because many were expecting major losses on the Republican side, repairing the party was not on the mind of many Democratic leaders. There are several articles and videos readily found that detail the next step for Democrats.

 MSNBC's website has done some interesting reorganization. They have created tabs to follow each candidate after the big election. Each tab encases the major stories following President Elect Trump and Former Secretary Clinton. These tabs are closely following the every move of both person and the ins and outs of their respective parties.

America Up in Arms

It's no secret that this election has created a severe dichotomy in our nation. Because of this there have been nationwide protests, some of which have turned violent. In my opinion, this is a topic that needs to be more heavily covered. There are some stories on MSNBC about the protests, but they are buried among other things. Despite the importance of covering both parties, I think it may be more important to acknowledge this divide and strategize on how to repair it. Though protesting the next president won't do much of anything, it is an opportunity for politicians to reach across the aisle and resolve some of the things these people are feeling. It is quite surprising that there are not a lot of articles about that.
A protester carries an upside down American flag as she walks along Sixth Avenue while demonstrating against President-elect Donald Trump, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP)
Courtesy of

I found it odd that I had to search for articles regarding said riots instead of seeing them on the front page. Somehow I think those stories are more important than a story about Trump having dinner with his family.

Regardless, I hope that MSNBC will continue to cover what matters. Though there will always be a slant on their coverage, I hope that they continue to respect the results of the election and keep audiences up to date on what truly matters.

Donald J. Trump @nytimes

Micaela Marshall

It is no surprise that when the news broke that Donald J. Trump became the 45th president-elect of the United States, the divided nation reacted intensely. Some were devastated, others were thrilled. The media, including the New York Times, was shocked.

The New York Times and Trump have a history of not seeing eye to eye. From the beginning when Trump announced he was running for president, he was treated like a joke and a celebrity with no chance of becoming the next leader of the free world. Hence the irony in the cartoon above that was posted on the Times website November 9, 2016 with the caption "Surprise."

The New York Times, a publication often criticized for its liberal-bias, was dumbfounded and mystified Trump won. According to them and all the polls - it seemed clear that Hillary Clinton would be our next president. I mean, after all, who are all these Trump supporters?

But since Trump and the Republican party as a whole were triumphant on election night, The New York Times has had no choice but to cover the Republican party as fairly as possible as the party won the presidency, and have control over the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Times sent out this letter to their subscribers following the election results:
The New York Times' Publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. and Executive Editor, Dean Banquet, attempt to reassure their readers that they report with "honesty, without fear or favor."

The letter asks, "Did Donald Trump's sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters? What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome? Most important, how will a president who remains a largely enigmatic figure actually govern when he takes office?"

But Trump is not letting the Times get away with anything. He has no problem calling them out on Twitter if and when he disagrees with what they are reporting - similar to how he approached the media during his campaign.

Trump tags the New York Times Twitter handle in his tweets where he bashes the publication as "dishonest and BAD." He claims the Times is loosing subscribers because of their "very poor and highly inaccurate coverage."

Trump even mocks the letter claiming it was an apology for "BAD coverage of me. I wonder if it will change - doubt it?"

The Times combatted Trump on Twitter, however, tweeting back at him that the fact was they are not loosing subscribers, they are actually gaining new ones.

Source: Twitter

Only time will tell what the state of America holds with president-elect Trump in office, but one thing we can know for certain is that the battle between news outlets like the New York Times and Trump is far from over, and coverage regarding Trump's presidency is no where near finished.

The New York Times sent out the letter to reaffirm their values and fundamental mission to provide good journalism and fair reporting. Let's give them a chance to prove they can do that. Likewise, let's give president-elect Donald J. Trump the chance to show us what it means to "Make America Great Again!"

Trump's Triumph: Covering the Unexpected

By Sarah Lorenzo

An NPR notification on Nov. 13 used
the phrase "president-elect" rather than
Donald Trump's name.
Many in the media were caught by surprise when Donald Trump forged a clear path to victory last week. Indeed, coverage from the New York Times has reflected shock but continues to center on disarray, continuing a trend that raised questions about the media's bias against the Trump campaign throughout the primary and general election season.

Subtle wordings provide curious insights to the nature of coverage, such as the exclusion of Trump's name from headlines that instead used the term, "the president-elect." Yet, for many NPR articles, which this blog is devoted to dissect, headline bias does not pervade.

Articles featured on the NPR webpage at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 seemed neutral. Top featured headlines read "From Lobbyists to Loyalists, See Who's On Trump's Transition Team;" "Breitbart Editor Contends Steve Bannon 'Has No Prejudices;'" "Vice President-Elect Mike Pence Set To Govern At Trump's Side;" and "Reports of Turmoil Color Trump's Transition."

None of those headlines have a distinctly negative sway, despite the final headline's mention of a potentially tumultuous transition. Although the headline describes "turmoil," the other words included are bland and non-suggestive of a conclusion. The use of the word "color" specifically stands out in contrast to the New York Times' more accusatory headline; "Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray." Indeed, the lede of the New York Times' news report accepted the conclusion that Trump's transition was in dire straits:
President-elect Donald J. Trump's transition was in disarray on Tuesday, marked by firings, infighting and revelations that American allies were blindly dialing in to Trump Tower to try to reach the soon-to-be-leader of the free world.
Not only did the reporters conclude that Trump's team was in chaos, their use of harsh words such as "infighting" and "blindly" conjure an image of commotion in contrast to NPR's more cautious inclusion of the word "reports."
Donald Trump's Twitter page was streaming with responses
to New York Times coverage of his transition team.

However, NPR's content does not lack imagery and indeed employs words just as harsh as those used by the New York Times in the first paragraph of its article reporting on the transition team:
"President-elect Donald Trump's first week after pulling off an upset victory has had plenty of missteps. The rocky start to his transition planning that one source described to CNN as a "knife fight" has done little to assure his critics and skeptical Republicans that he'll have a smooth ascension to the Oval Office surrounded by qualified advisers. Trump denies that the transition is rocky."
By noting in the first paragraph that Trump denies accusations of a turbulent transition, NPR does something the New York Times does not. But phrases such as "has had" and "the rocky start" seem to confirm a perspective that turmoil has indeed taken place.

Due to the plethora of insider reports alleging that Trump's transition team has met obstacles in its first week of preparation, do journalists have the right to cover allegations in a confirming tone? What constitutes bias in an age when accusations of bias have continued to fly in the form of tweets from a president-to-be?

In response to the New York Times article, Trump turned to his Twitter podium and addressed his crowd of supporters to rebuke the article's claims. He did not respond to coverage from NPR. Trump's accusations against the New York Times continue a trend of rebutting their reporting that began at the start of his political campaign.

The relationship between the president-elect and the country's leading newspaper represents the significant strain and skepticism he has bred of "the media" in general. When Trump begins his four years in the presidency, the New York Times and NPR will continue to cover him as the country's primary leader, and the angles and tones each outlet employs in its coverage will set a base for an interesting case study of media bias that will put journalistic integrity to a test.

Shock and confusion at the BBC over Trump victory

by Derek Smith

The BBC, along with many Europeans across the Atlantic, is reeling from the shock of Trump's victory. The confusion is almost palpable going through this week's top stories. As Trump has begun to announce his cabinet resources have begun to slowly drift from the election, but for the BBC how Trump actually won the election is still the focus. 

Struggling this election to understand the alt-right behind Trump, just as they did during Brexit, the BBC and media in general have to take a share of the credit for this election. In March of this year Trump had already earned $2 billion worth of free coverage, and regardless of what your opinion of his platform, it allowed him the ability to focus resources elsewhere and better mobilize his voters. 

Is polling to blame?

Donald Trump stunned much of the world with his narrow win.
Photo courtesy of the Independent.
Across the aisle many people are questioning the validity of modern polling methods. The traditional cold call to homes across the country are being foiled by their samples not answering the phone. Not only that more and more americans are ditching traditional landlines, especially in younger demographics. This complicates the polling process even further, as calls to the home become more intrusive.

Furthermore I would posit that the polls weren't that far off. In fact despite many thinking there would be a high voter turnout, the US had continued with its disheartening low voter turnout. Not only that, but Clinton actually won the popular vote. While we may never know if she would have won with more people voting, it's hard to argue the polls were completely with that in mind.

Foreign perspective

The BBC has an interesting job to tackle covering American elections. While the two countries are fairly similar, the British simply do not understand the Electoral College. Their coverage throughout this election has been focused on helping their primary audience understand how and why Americans elect the president the way they do. Their story explaining the basic what the Electoral College is and what it does has been a pinned story to the election page. 

Another focus from the start of the general election has been attempting to clearly figure out why people followed Trump and despised Clinton. The BBC tried to remain neutral, but it was clear to see by the amount of negative coverage that Trump received, and continues to receive, largely negative coverage. Trump stories not only take some of the negative aspects of his domestic opposition, but compounds it with that in Western Europe. 

This shows that the BBC didn't learn the lesson much of the media failed to learn this year. Free coverage can help expose a candidate better a strong platform. The merits of Trump's ideas aside, the amount of coverage he got for his vitriolic rhetoric definitely helped him reach a larger audience. 

Trump understands TV better than those on TV understood him. He understood the nature of American elections in the modern age, he knew he had to keep in the spotlight and did it. In the future the BBC and others like it need to be careful on how they handle media savvy candidates like Trump.