Here's an interesting bit of research for journalists to ponder. A
researcher at Johns Hopkins University -- Erika Falk -- suggests that the
media treated Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama differently.
Here's the promotion I just received from the university:
After analyzing the first month of campaign coverage in the nation's
top six circulating newspapers (USA Today and the Wall Street Journal,
New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Denver Post and Chicago Tribune,
according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation), Falk found that Clinton:
● Was more likely than Obama to have her legislative title dropped
and be referred to by her first name or by her gender.
● Was mentioned in just 65 percent of the number of articles as
Obama: Eighty-four stories mentioned Obama whereas just 55 mentioned
Clinton. Only nine stories mentioned Clinton without mentioning Obama
whereas 38 stories mentioned Obama without mentioning Clinton.
● Had fewer paragraphs written about her than Obama did - 631
paragraphs were written about her compared to 934 about Obama.
● Was less likely to see her name in a headline than Obama:
Fifty-nine stories had headlines containing "Obama" compared to just 36
Falk has just published a book on this topic: "Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns" (University of Illinois Press, January 2008.)
So what do you think? Has the media been unfair to Clinton?
Are there lessons that the media should pay attention to here in Vermont with a woman and two men vying for governor?
-- Nancy Remsen