Study shows Obama receives far more positive TV news coverage than Reagan, Clinton or Bush

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A new study by Stephen Farnsworth & Robert Lichter for Presidential Studies Quarterly of content analysis of network evening news coverage during the first year of the Barack Obama presidency revealed coverage that was far more positive in tone than comparable news reports from the first years of the Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush presidencies. Both domestic and international policy evaluations of the Obama presidency were more positive in tone than those of the last three presidents to take office during partisan transfers of power. The findings reveal a revival of the media honeymoon that scholars thought had disappeared during the modern era of a more combative press. An investigation of the “beat sweetening” hypothesis reveals mixed results, suggesting the need for further investigation.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.