The Gendered Lens of News Coverage: A Media Analysis of the 2016 Election
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The Gendered Lens of News Coverage: A Media Analysis of the 2016 Election

  • Author(s): Gonzalez, Elizabeth Victoria
  • Advisor(s): Thomsen, Danielle
  • et al.
Abstract

Does the media have a gendered lens when it covers women and men running for public office? As technology develops and the internet becomes more accessible to the public, this question becomes increasingly important. Answering whether or not news organizations have any bias when it comes to political candidates carries serious implications for how election outcomes should be evaluated and understood. The goal of this research is to shed new light on gender bias within the 2016 context by providing a comparative analysis of the coverage between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 election. This study analyzes articles published by the New York Times in the 100 day period leading up to the election. Each article is evaluated for the candidate of focus, the number of Trump mentions relative to Clinton mentions, and its correlation with polling results. The final results find that Trump had more articles published about him than Clinton did, and more name mentions relative to Clinton per article. However, increased Trump coverage did not correlate with increased performance in the polls, which highlights some of the limitations of media bias influencing outcomes. This finding in particular points to the need for further research in order to fully determine the effect that news coverage has when it comes to women versus men running for office in general and the 2016 presidential election in particular.

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