The American 2016 Election in the Czech Media
An analysis of conventional and social media prepared for Sunday’s Newsroom ČT24 by NEWTON Media analysts showed that Czech conventional media gave approximately equal coverage to each candidate. Republican candidate Donald Trump was featured in 15% more articles than his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton (718 v. 626). Posts about Trump were slightly more negative overall (46%) than those about Clinton (38%). The negative sentiment in posts mainly came from various controversies.
The graph shows the number of posts about candidates in conventional media by prevailing sentiment
Czechs also took to social media to comment on the U.S. election, not just in the final week leading up to Election Day, but during the whole preceding quarter. Donald Trump drew more attention, although as the campaign came to an end Hillary Clinton received nearly as much commentary as her opponent.
The graph shows the number post posts mentioning each presidential candidate on social media
Media coverage of Donald Trump, who won the election, remained relatively stable during October. Interest peaked on two days: October 10 and October 20, when the presidential debates took place. The most frequent sources of negative publicity about Trump in conventional media were his sexual harassment of women, the schism in the Republican Party, his refusal to release his tax returns, declining economic indicators in connection with Trump’s growing chances of victory, and criticism of Trump from celebrities and commentators. Positive publicity came primarily from praise of Donald Trump from Vladimir Putin, Czech President Miloš Zeman, Indian nationalists, as well as from coverage of Trump’s meetings.
Donald Trump was often mentioned on social media in connection with Miloš Zeman or Russia and Vladimir Putin. People nearly always evaluated Donald Trump’s character. Some saw him as a strong, masculine figure, but negative descriptors appeared more often. One in 10 posts called his intelligence into question, and another one in 10 questioned his mental health. Others saw him as an arrogant boor or an unpredictable and self-absorbed clown. One quarter of positive comments entailed turning Trump’s weaknesses into strengths (“Trump may be [negative characteristic], but…”).The graph shows negative and positive posts evaluating each candidate
Conventional media coverage of Hillary Clinton essentially mirrored that of Donald Trump. Controversy about Clinton centered around the emails from her time as Secretary of State, commentary on her performance as Secretary of State, and general accusations of corruption. Hillary Clinton’s emails were often mentioned on social media as well. The most significant figures supporting Clinton were President Barack Obama and celebrities like Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Ian Somerhalder.
An analysis of descriptions of the candidates showed that most descriptions and judgments about Clinton were negative. Just 17% of comments about the Democratic politician were positive. Unlike Trump, Clinton’s long political career meant that discussion centered much more around her capabilities. She was described as a warmonger, elitist and corporate-controlled corrupt politician. She was almost universally referred to as a liar. One tenth of all descriptions of Clinton included sexist remarks.The graph shows posts discussing the candidates’ personalities and abilities
The conventional media analysis examined media coverage of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in selected mainstream media sources between October 7, 2016 and November 7, 2016. News stories mentioning the first and last names of Donald Trump and/or Hillary Clinton were chosen for the analysis. All stories from the selected media sources discussing the candidates in the relevant period were included in the analysis. Daily newspapers in the analysis were: Mladá fronta DNES, Právo, Blesk, Lidové noviny and Hospodářské noviny. Television broadcasts in the analysis were the news programs from ČT1, ČT24, TV Nova and Prima, and ČRo Radiožurnál represented radio broadcasting. Online media sources in the analysis were news sites novinky.cz and iDNES.cz.
The social media analysis focused on public posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and discussion forums written in Czech and made between August 15 and November 6. Descriptions of the candidates were determined by isolating the phrases “Trump/Donald is…” and “Clinton/Hillary is…”. This method found 433 such descriptions in a total of 13,537 posts about Trump and 7,520 posts about Clinton.
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