Thursday, September 15, 2016


By: Megan Vanselow

A feature that caught my eye on ABC this week was the hashtag. I noticed it in orange colors attached only to a few political stories on the home page.

 With the idea of hashtags coming from twitter as a way to group together several people talking about one topic, I assumed ABC was interested in getting people talking about its stories by encouraging the use of different hashtags  that it included. However, when I clicked on the hashtag, I learned that ABC uses it as a way to navigate through its site.

 If you click on a hashtag, it will take you to all of ABC’s stories regarding that topic. Suggested topics to follow start with #HillaryClinton and second is #DonaldTrump. #HillaryClinton has 5 stories that were posted as of 7 a.m. September 15th and the start of September 14th. Three of these stories are regarding Clinton’s health, including results of a mammogram and breast ultrasound. 

Between the start of September 14th and 7 a.m. September 15th, 12 stories were posted with #DonaldTrump. I was impressed to see that ABC had two stories regarding Trump’s health, and  only one with Trump discussing Hillary’s health. Of course the ratio is not the same, but it was refreshing to see that ABC didn't ridicule the female candidate for her health and not consider the male’s. 

One of the articles about his health, was about retiring Nevada Democratic, Harry Reid being concerned about this exact issue. The article states early on that Reid claims that Trump proudly eats fast food every day. Later in the article, the writer discusses medical statements from each candidates doctor, from the summer. Both doctors had positive things to say about the health of their patient, but ABC chose to place the photo of Trump eating McDonald’s directly after the statement from his physician. 

An interesting aspect of the article was a comparison of both candidates’ amount of medical records released during their respective campaigns in comparison to previous presidential nominees, saying BOTH were vastly lower than anyone before them. It made a direct comparison to John McCain saying during his campaign, when he was 71, he released 1,200 pages of records. 

I will be waiting for the media to get the medical records Trump shared on Dr. Oz, to see if ABC includes results of his prostate exam, like they included results of Clinton’s breast ultrasound, when it releases a story.

Trump’s big campaign story this week was about paid maternity leave. His daughter was the face of the movement in both stories ABC posted within the last day. The older story adds the statement from Clinton’s policy advisor complaining about Trump’s sudden interest uncaring for women. The article then states that Clinton’s stance is 12 weeks paid maternity leave compared to Trump’s six. 

In the newest article about Trump’s proposal, ABC lead with, and made the headline about her critique of Hillary Clinton for not making a change to this policy during her time in power. The article goes on to make similar claims and highlight the same points from Trump’s proposal as the previous article. 


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