Friday, December 7, 2012

2012 US Presidential Election: National Media Biases

On December 17, 2012, the Foundation for Democratic Advancement will be publishing its U.S. Media Study on the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. The FDA data collectors monitored the U.S. national media during the last 32 days of the presidential election and in the three main media sectors: press, radio, and television (including online content). 7,708 data points are included in the study.

Above, the bar chart from the FDA's U.S. Media Report illustrates that Barack Obama had more overall national media coverage than Mitt Romney, and that Obama had more coverage in terms of negative, neutral, and positive national coverage as compared to Romney. All other presidential candidates had disproportionately less coverage than Obama and Romney.

The FDA's national media findings correlate to the actual 2012 U.S. Presidential voting results within an average deviation of 1.17 percent. The overall ranking of the presidential candidates in terms of national media coverage correlates exactly to the ranking of the presidential candidates in terms of popular vote results.

From a process standpoint, the American federal electoral system does not regulate public and private media for campaign coverage. It is basically a free-for-all in terms of media coverage of presidential candidates and their parties. In the 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of the U.S., the U.S. media legislation received a score of 42.5 percent (out of 100 percent) for failing to create conditions for broad and balanced election coverage.

FDA Advisory on the United States Electoral System

Mr. Stephen Garvey, Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Executive Director

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