Whether you’re a fan of his or not, we can all agree that President Donald Trump has taken a pretty hard beating by the press. Some of this coverage is warranted, but some of the media bias can also be hard to sift through to determine which news is ‘fake news’ and which is real or an ‘alternative fact’. In an effort to put the coverage into perspective, Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzed the tone Trump received on major news networks, and while none of them, including Fox News, fell into the positive range, it was found that the German media was his harshest critic.
it was found that the German media was his harshest critic
The study looked only at Trump’s first 100 days in office and included coverage from the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC. In an attempt to gain insight into the foreign press, three European news outlets, the UK’s Financial Times and BBC, plus Germany’s ARD were also included.
One of the most glaring findings was the sheer amount of coverage Trump has received versus his predecessors. Stories of Trump accounted for 41 percent of all news coverage — three times higher than presidents in the past — and a majority of those reports where featuring direct quotes or soundbites of Trump himself.
When it comes to the German media, reports on Trump are almost entirely negative. Only two percent of ARD’s news coverage had a positive tone on his presidency. The German network was also the most adamant on questioning Trumps mental health long after others chose to stop such suggestions. 20 percent of its Trump coverage in January centered around his suitability and held at 18 percent in February before the network opted for a new direction.
No recent president has been met with such negativity in Germany
No recent president has been met with such negativity in Germany, and the times of Germany and America being best friends are quickly changing.
Now while this Shorenstein Center report is extensive, its international sources are not quite as scientific as the domestic counterparts. With ARD being the only German source, chances are that other major outlets would not have quite as high of a negative tone in their coverage.