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Media Agenda Against Bernie Sanders? Examining the Emotional Tone of US Political News Articles

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posted on 2021-12-08, 18:07 authored by Derek NewmanDerek Newman
The emotional tone of news articles (N = 120) on Democratic Party primary candidates was examined to determine if the media has bias towards Bernie Sanders. Using the Dictionary of Affect (Whissell, 2009), article words (N = 115,569) in the first 60 days of 2020 were measured for their pleasantness, activation, and imagery by candidate - Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Mike Bloomberg. Significant differences between Bernie Sanders and the other candidates were found for article pleasantness (p = .000), article imagery (p = 0.003) and headline activation (p = 0.23). Articles written on Bernie Sanders were less pleasant and more active in tone, as well as being more abstract (low in imagery).


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Canada

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Lecturer

Lead author institution

Cambrian College

Human Participants

  • No

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