The Great Divide: Republican and Democratic News Media’s Coverage of Trump’s Presidency


In the digital age, news media has become an integral part of modern society. The news media has a significant role in forming the society we live in by informing, entertaining, and influencing public opinion. However, in recent years, news media has become more and more divided, particularly in liberal or democratic states like the United States of America. The two main actors in this divide are Republican and Democratic news media, which have very different approaches to covering political issues in their news coverage.

This polarization was particularly evident during the presidency of Donald Trump, who became a lightning rod for controversy and media attention. Republican news organizations like Fox News and Breitbart News covered Trump’s policies and statements favorably, whilst Democratic news organizations like CNN and MSNBC covered them negatively, drawing charges of biased reporting and “fake news” from both sides.

This partisan divide in news media has raised concerns about the impact on public opinion and political discourse. Scholars of mass media communication theory have long claimed that the media is crucial in forming public opinion and can have an impact on political agendas. In the case of Trump’s presidency, the Republican and Democratic news media were essential in influencing how the public perceived his presidency.

As an illustration, Fox News featured reports outlining how Trump’s programs had been successful, such as the adoption of tax reform legislation and the selection of conservative judges to the Supreme Court. In meanwhile, CNN and MSNBC concentrated on the Trump-related controversies, such as the Russia probe and the impeachment process.

The future of democracy is significantly impacted by this rift in the news industry. It can further entrench political divisions and make it difficult for individuals to form educated opinions if the news media remains partisan in its coverage. In order to establish a well-informed judgment, it is crucial to be aware of the biases and subtleties of the news media and to look for different points of view.

Republican News Media Coverage of Trump’s Presidency

As was already defined, Republican press organizations like Fox press and Breitbart News gave favorable attention to Trump’s positions and language. The news media has been demonstrated to be an effective instrument for influencing public opinion, and Trump’s base probably supported him strongly as a result of the favorable coverage he received from Republican news media.

According to framing theory, how a story is reported in the news media may affect how readers understand and respond to it. During Trump’s administration, the Republican news media emphasized his attempts to deregulate the economy, control the border, and put America first while presenting his policies and language in a favorable light. His conservative supporters were won over by this framing, which contributed to their favorable perception of his government.

In addition, Fox News featured news outlining Trump’s programs’ triumphs, such as the booming economy and low unemployment rate. Additionally, they constantly questioned the way the mainstream media covered Trump, charging them with bias and fabricating stories. This narrative of Trump’s policies and the mainstream media served to unify his following and strengthen his position.

This uplifting portrayal of Trump’s leadership, nevertheless, has also come under fire for downplaying or disregarding the scandals that have dogged his presidency. For instance, Fox News came under fire for how they handled the Stormy Daniels incident, where they played down the claims that Trump had an affair with the adult film actress. By only presenting material that supports their preexisting opinions, this selective reporting may help to create an echo chamber.

There are important ramifications for the future of democracy from the partisan division in the news industry. It can be challenging to conduct fruitful conversations and create common ground if people only hear information that supports their pre-existing opinions. To establish an educated judgment, it is crucial to be aware of the intricacies and biases of the news media and to look for other points of view.

Democratic News Media Coverage of Trump’s Presidency

On the opposite side of the political aisle, Democratic news organizations like CNN and MSNBC covered Trump’s presidency negatively by highlighting the scandals that surrounded his administration. The narrative of his administration was greatly influenced by this media, especially for those who were unfavorable of Trump.

According to the agenda-setting idea, the news media has the ability to shape public opinion by deciding which stories to cover and how to present them. In the case of Trump’s presidency, the Democratic news media’s unfavorable coverage contributed to establishing the public’s agenda by emphasizing the scandals that surrounded his government and casting a poor light on his administration.

In addition, CNN and MSNBC widely covered the Russia probe, portraying it as a danger to American democracy and emphasizing the links between Trump’s campaign and Russia. They regularly condemned Trump’s language, in especially his use of Twitter, and said that he was abusing his position as president to advance his own interests.

This unfavorable portrayal of Trump’s leadership has drawn criticism for being too prejudiced and neglecting some of its strengths. However, the coverage of Trump by the Democratic news media served to provide those who disagreed with him a voice and a platform for their grievances.

The news media’s influence on public opinion extends beyond the content being reported and includes how it is presented. According to the framing hypothesis, how a narrative is told may affect how viewers understand it and respond. Trump’s presidency was presented negatively by the Democratic news media, which contributed to the public’s poor perception of his government.

However, if individuals simply consume news that supports their pre-existing opinions, the political gap in news media might have serious consequences for democracy’s survival. To establish an educated judgment, it is crucial to be aware of the intricacies and biases of the news media and to look for other points of view.

Comparing Liberal and Republican News Media

Liberal and conservative news media are divided, in addition to the ideological difference between Democratic and Republican news outlets. Liberal news organizations like CNN and MSNBC have come under fire for their political slant, while conservative news organizations like Fox News have been accused of serving as the Republican Party’s spokesperson.

Trump’s presidency has received disproportionately unfavorable coverage in the liberal news media, which has painted him as a danger to American democracy and highlighted the scandals surrounding his government. On the other side, Trump has had more backing from the conservative news media, which has been accused of downplaying or ignoring his scandals.

It is worrying how partisan news media affects public opinion since it raises the possibility of more division in society. Finding common ground and having constructive conversations become more difficult when people only receive information that supports their pre-existing ideas.

It is crucial to increase media literacy and urge people to seek out different points of view in order to overcome this problem. This might involve reading news from many sources, fact-checking data, and critically analyzing how news items are presented.

Additionally, media sources have to work to portray a more impartial picture of political events, giving viewers several points of view and encouraging civil discourse across ideological differences. The media must handle this obligation with fairness and honesty since they have a crucial role to play in influencing public opinion.

In conclusion, the narrative surrounding Trump’s administration has been significantly shaped by the gap between Republican and Democratic news outlets. Being aware of the biases and intricacies of news coverage is crucial since the news media has the ability to shape public opinion. We all may try to create a society that is more informed and involved by increasing media literacy and embracing different points of view.

Nailul Fathul Wafiq
Nailul Fathul Wafiq
Nailul Fathul Wafiq is an undergraduate student of international relations at the Islamic University of Indonesia, taking an interest in international economic studies, trade and investment, international media communication, and analysis of the impact of government policy on public society. He also focuses on the dynamics and development of some regions, especially in Southeast Asia and Pacific Asia.


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