Pew Study: Mainstream Media Views Ron Paul as Secondary Character in 2012 Election Narrative

Aug 18, 2011 7:30pm

ABC News' Michael Ono reports:

He finished second place in the Iowa Ames Straw Poll but the mainstream media hasn’t devoted much space to Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, R-Texas, according to a new study released today by the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism.

Paul was the focus in 27 campaign stories according to Pew after an analysis on pieces that ran between Jan. 1 to Aug. 14, the stories compiled from a list of 52 news outlets tracked by Pew in their News Coverage Index.

In contrast Donald Trump, who never entered the race, was heavily featured in 94 stories and Rick Perry, who just entered the race, 44.  President Barack Obama was the focus of 221.

“The lack of coverage does suggest a conventional wisdom among many journalists that he can’t win the Republican nomination,” said Mark Jurkowitz, who is the Associate Director at the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism.

Stories counted towards the study required that the candidate be featured in more than 50 percent of the story – Pew calling that number the measure of a “dominant newsmaker.”

But is Paul getting a fair shake?

Paul has accused the media of being “frightened by [him] me challenging the status quo,” Paul making that accusation while appearing on CNN’s Piece Morgan.

Adding insult to injury, Politico reported that Paul was canceled on by NBC’s Today Show and Fox News Sunday.

And the despite the lack of media coverage, Paul managed to rank fourth in a recent ABC/Washington Post poll has him at 9 percent beating out Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.

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