Many media outlets and polls had the election wrong, calling into question their research methods and whether they have lost touch with the America between the coasts that carried Mr. Trump to victory. In addition, much of the media has been maligned for not being aggressive enough in its coverage of Mr. Trump’s rise, business operations and questionable statements on the stump.
Can you trust the media? Can you trust the Internet?
Like all candidates in the recent election Trump benefitted from what is known as earned media: news and commentary about his campaign on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on social media. Earned media typically dwarfs paid media in a campaign. The big difference between Mr. Trump and other candidates is that he is far better than any other candidate — maybe than any candidate ever — at earning media.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Over the course of the campaign, Trump earned close to $2 billion worth of media attention[/inlinetweet], about twice the all-in price of the most expensive presidential campaigns in history. It is also twice the estimated $746 million that Hillary Clinton, the next best at earning media, took in. Senator Bernie Sanders has earned more media than any of the Republicans except Mr. Trump.
There’s been a lot of debate in media industry circles about whether the media helped create the Donald Trump phenomenon by constantly writing about him and putting him on television in an attempt to drive traffic and ratings.
According to the study, major news outlets—including CBS, Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, USA Today, and the New York Times—covered Donald Trump’s campaign in “a way that was unusual given his initial polling numbers.” That is to say, the Republican candidate got a high volume of coverage even before his polling numbers justified it. Not only that, but a majority of the coverage was positive in tone, according to the Shorenstein Center research.
Meanwhile, the Democratic race got less than half the coverage that the Republican race did, the researchers found.
Why? In one word “ratings”. Ratings trump (no pun intended) actual news stories. Over the last few years we have seen TV networks, major print publications and online news sites cuts staff over and over again. It’s not about the quality of news; it’s about what will attract the most viewers.
What does this mean for content marketers? A lot. Your content is going to be met with more skepticism than ever. People are going to have to go online to really determine if what they are reading is true.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]It’s ironic that the media, who created Trump with excess coverage, are now the ones reporting on a disgruntled public that is still in shock. [/inlinetweet]
The level of trust in the U.S. news media is at an all-time low.
According to a Gallup survey that was conducted last month,[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] only 40 percent of all Americans have a “great deal/fair amount” of confidence in the mass media. [/inlinetweet]That ties the lowest level that Gallup has ever recorded.