In the competition for media coverage, Sen. Barack Obama came in No. 1 last week and received the most coverage during a single week of any candidate this year, according to research released today by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Between Feb. 25 and March 2 – which included a Democratic debate but no primaries or caucuses – Obama was the main or significant newsmaker in 69% of all presidential campaign related stories. Sen. Hillary Clinton came in second as the main or a significant newsmaker in 58% of campaign stories.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that not all of the Obama coverage was positive. “The media scrutinized everything from his legislative record to his connections to Louis Farrakhan, and frequently addressed the question of whether journalists have been too soft on the front-runner for the Democratic nomination,” the group said. Part of the coverage was driven by Clinton’s accusation of media bias toward Obama during the Feb. 26 debate, the group said. In all, it reviewed 397 stories for the report.
Overall, Democrats outpaced Republicans in last week’s coverage competition. Democrats generated more than four times the coverage of Republicans (68% to 15%). Sen. John McCain was the significant or main newsmaker in 28% of campaign stories, his lowest total in five weeks and a 10 percentage point drop from last week’s PEJ