StoryBench: “Last week, the Democrats now find themselves with a large (and likely still growing) pool of candidates from which to choose. But, as promised in our introductory post last week, we aren’t going to worry too much about the horse race. Instead, we’ll be focusing on how the media is covering these candidates. After all, if the media serves as the watchdog of the election, then someone has to keep an eye on the watchdog, too. For now, our coverage analysis will focus on the six most prominent candidates in the race thus far: Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker. There are a few other names who have entered the competition (including a Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld), but those six seem to have separated themselves for the time being.
Before moving into our first piece of analysis, a quick note on methodology: This first update is focused on the initial coverage of each candidate’s campaign announcement, a time span that we have set at two weeks. Sixty articles have been collected so far – 10 per candidate. To get a sample of the “mainstream media,” our dataset is limited to the top five most-read American news outlets according to Alexa: CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News, and The Huffington Post. We took two articles from each following a candidate’s announcement and scraped the text into a spreadsheet, which you can find here…”