Media focuses on Trump’s leadership, character more than policy: study

Getty Images

A Pew Research media study released Monday showed that nearly three-quarters of all stories on President Trump focused on his leadership and character instead of policy agenda.

The survey also found that “stories were four times as likely to carry an overall negative assessment of the Trump administration’s words or actions as a positive assessment.”

The study, which looked at media coverage of the president and his administration over the first 100 days in office, also showed that five storylines dominated coverage about Trump and the administration, including the president’s political skills (17 percent), immigration (14 percent), appointments and nominations (13 percent), U.S.-Russia relations (13 percent) and health care (9 percent).


According to Pew, “none of the remaining 39 topics accounted for more than 4 percent of the stories.”

“Coverage was much more likely to be framed around Trump and the administration’s leadership and character than around policy,” Pew wrote when breaking down focus on the president’s leadership and character versus core ideology and policy agenda.

“Overall, the news media structured nearly three-quarters of stories (74 percent) around President Trump’s leadership and character and about a quarter (26 percent) on his policy agenda,” it reads.

When compared with recent presidencies, Pew found Trump received far less focus on policy.

Overall, only 31 percent of stories focused on policy with Trump, compared to 50 percent for President Obama, 65 percent for President George W. Bush, and 58 percent for President Clinton.

“And the evaluations of Trump were far more negative and less positive than those of his predecessors,” the study adds.

Overall, the analysis found that the Trump administration’s “words and actions” were four times as likely to carry an overall negative assessment than a positive one, with 44 percent being negative and 11 percent positive. The remaining 45 percent were neither positive or negative.

“The findings reveal that indeed, the mix of voices heard from, the assessments of the administration and the degree to which President Trump’s words were refuted differed, with outlets that appeal to a right-leaning audience most often standing apart from those with a left-leaning or a more mixed audience,” concluded Amy Mitchell, Pew’s Director of Journalism Research.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video