Donald Trump has extended his media dominance from the campaign trail and into office, although largely for all the wrong reasons, after a new study showed the unpredictable president was a staple feature of the media landscape during his first months in power.
A report commissioned by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that Trump accounted for 41% of stories amongst US and European print and broadcast channels, three times the level of exposure enjoyed by his three predecessors.
Unfortunately for Trump the bulk of this spilled ink carried a negative tone with 80% of such content being critical of the president’s first 100 days at the White House.
Commenting on Trump’s dominance of the airwaves the report noted: “Trump’s coverage was unsparing. In no week did the coverage drop below 70 percent negative and it reached 90 percent negative at its peak. The best period for Trump was week 12 of his presidency, when he ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase.”
The findings are perhaps unsurprising however given that Trump himself has launched a series of tirades against the mainstream media, whom he accuses of publishing ‘fake news’.
Whilst the reports lead author was careful not to be drawn on whether their coverage was ‘fair and balanced’ Harvard professor Thomas Patterson did say that the volume of negative material lent credence to Trump’s chief contention that ‘the media are hell bent on destroying his presidency’.
Of these Fox News came closest to painting the president in a positive light, although even here 52% of stories were classed as negative in tone.