Report

Media Metric: Obama's 100 Days of Press

  • April 29, 2009

As he marks his 100th day in office, President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House, according to a new study of press coverage by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Overall, roughly four out of ten stories, editorials and op-ed columns about Obama have been clearly positive in tone, compared with 22% for Bush and 27% for Clinton in the same mix of seven national media outlets during their first two months in office, according to the study.

The study found positive stories about Obama have outweighed negative by two-to-one (42% vs. 20%) while 38% of stories have been neutral or mixed.

When a broader universe of media—one that includes 49 outlets and reflects the more modern media culture of 2009—is examined, the numbers for Obama's coverage are similar, though, somewhat less positive and somewhat more negative. In this expanded universe of media—which includes news websites, additional regional and local newspapers, cable news, network morning news and National Public Radio—37% of Obama's coverage has been positive, 40% neutral and 23% negative.

Read the full report Obama's First 100 Days of Press on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.