Media Conversation around President Trump’s Racist Tweets

On Sunday, President Trump Tweeted that progressive congresswomen should “go back” and try to fix the “crime infested places” they “originally came from.” I ran some analysis on the media coverage of the event from Sunday through this evening. I found that there have been 7,271 news articles by US media outlets since the event was reported on Sunday. In total, those articles have been shared 3.2 million times on social media. That’s a lot.

One way to evaluate the impact of news coverage is by the amount of social media engagements (likes, shares, comments, retweets, etc) an article receives. Using that standard, the most influential news sources for the conversation around Trump’s comments are (946K engagements), (387K engagements), engagements), and (248K engagements).

I find it interesting that the top sources are mainstream or left leaning news sources. Even still, is the 7th most influential news source with 107K engagements and occupies the 11th most influential source (86K engagements). It makes sense that news coverage that is generally critical of right-wing figures is going to be less shared by right-wing news consumers.

I ran a very cursory sentiment analysis of the conversation, which categorized 42% of the coverage as distinctly negative. That’s incredibly high. The phrase “white nationalism” was mentioned in 26% of articles. Conversely “radical left” was mentioned in 21% of articles. The most popular verb used in the articles was “totally broken,” mentioned in 48% of articles. Speaker Pelosi was mentioned in 58% of articles.

With the incredible volume of news conversation that the even produced, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the President’s polling numbers to see if the event has any impact.

Andrew Rugg

Andrew Rugg is an expert in survey research, media analytics, and qualitative research projects. Before leading the team at Certus, he lead a fully integrated research department at a public relations agency.