STUDY: Top Newspapers Give Clinton Email Story More Coverage Than All Other Trump Stories

››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

Five top national newspapers have obsessed over FBI Director James Comey’s letter revealing newly discovered emails potentially related to the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. In the week since Comey’s letter was released, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post have published 100 stories -- 46 of which were on the front page -- about or mentioning the emails.

Comey Releases Letter To Congress About FBI Reviewing Additional Emails

Comey On October 28: The FBI Will Review Emails That May Be “Pertinent” To Clinton Email Server Investigation. In an October 28 letter, FBI director James Comey announced that the bureau planned to review additional emails that “appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Comey’s letter noted that the “FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.” [The New York Times, 10/28/16]
 

Newspapers Push Clinton Email Story Twice As Much As Any Trump Headline

Five Top Newspapers Published 100 Articles Mentioning Clinton Emails Over Seven Days. The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post together published 100 articles about or mentioning the newly discovered emails. Forty-six of those were front page stories.
 
The Same Newspapers Published Only 49 “Trump” Headlines That Did Not Mention The Clinton Email Story. The same five papers have published 68 articles that had Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's surname in the headline since October 29; however, 19 of those also mentioned the Clinton email story. Only 49 articles with a “Trump” headline did not also mention the Clinton email story, and only 14 of those were front page stories.
 
The New York Times Published Almost Three Times As Many Clinton Email Stories As “Trump” Headlines. The New York Times published 37 articles mentioning the Clinton email story while publishing only 13 “Trump” headlines that did not also mention the Clinton email story.
 
The Washington Post And USA Today Each Published Twice As Many Clinton Email Stories As “Trump” Headlines. The Washington Post published 26 articles mentioning the Clinton email story while publishing only 13 “Trump” headlines that did not also mention the Clinton email story. USA Today published 11 articles mentioning the Clinton email story while publishing only five “Trump” headlines that did not also mention the Clinton email story.
 

UPDATE

The following interactive chart, generated from pageonex.com, shows every front page between October 29 and November 4 for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Portions of the page highlighted in red represent stories that at least mentioned Comey’s letter revealing newly discovered emails potentially related to the bureau’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. Portions of the page highlighted in blue represent any story with "Trump" in the headline that did not also mention the emails. Click on a page to zoom.
 

Methodology

Media Matters searched the Nexis and Factiva transcript databases for five top national newspapers -- the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post -- for articles about or mentioning FBI Director James Comey’s letter about the discovery of new emails possibly related to the FBI’s prior investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state and for articles with “Trump” in the headline between October 29, 2016, and November 4, 2016, using the terms “Clinton,” “email,” “e-mail,” or “Trump.”
 
We included articles from only the print editions of each paper, and we limited the results to articles from the news sections. Articles from editorial, opinion, op-ed, business, sports, and other sections were excluded. We did not include articles about the trove of emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta released by WikiLeaks, nor did we include articles where it was unclear which set of emails was mentioned.
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