The United States of America is the world superpower due to its vibrant economy, social integration, and liberal political democracy. Therefore, when the US is electing their next president, the rest of the world look closely at whatever happens in the election will have a global impact with far-reaching consequences. Media coverage is thus critical in any American election. The present essay discusses the differences and similarities in the coverage of the Us Elections 2016 by CNN and Fox News with a particular interest to how the news outlets presented the two main presidential candidates.
The differences and similarities in the coverage can be seen to arise stations due to diversity in operations and perceived political affiliations (Pew Research Center). The broadcast systems may be similar or vary in some aspects, and the way they present news may make their viewers believe in the shows as they give factual information and sometimes stretch the truth to emphasize the news. Looking at the Fox News and CNN broadcast channels on the election 2016; during the campaigns, they both had a positive outlook on the candidature of Hilary Clinton who was a Democrat. Their projections of the election results were putting Clinton ahead of Donald Trump in the run for the presidency (Llyod). Comparing these two cable news networks, they had a various reporter and correspondent at home and abroad reporting on the mood and attitude of voters and independent observers on the candidature of these two primary contestants. They both reported that Clinton had about a four-point margin ahead in the race compared to Trump in the online and national surveys.
On the other hand, some differences can be noted in their approach in coverage of the election. For example, according to the statistics by the Media Matters for America the Fox News gave more time coverage and airing of live events of the Republican Donald Trump that is about seven hours thirty-two minutes as compared to the Democrat Hillary Clinton whose coverage time was three hours 25 minutes between September 1st -30th (Savillo and Demiero). CNN, on the other hand, gave the candidates nearly balanced coverage and airing time with Trump getting five hours eighteen minutes and Clinton getting five hours and four minutes for the same month of September (Savillo and Demiero).
It is clear that Fox News gave Trump more coverage time than Clinton whereas CNN gave them nearly equal coverage time. When it comes to reporting and presentation of the news, CNN had more to report on both the candidates compared to the Fox News thus making it more likely believable (Savillo and Demiero). CNN reporting was more fact based as they carried out their polls opinion on the election outcome giving Clinton a leading margin of about four points just like the other national polls stats. To stretch it even further, according to the CNN polls projections Clinton had approximately 268 Electoral College votes to Trumps 204 before the elections. The Fox News also projected a Clinton victory though not so pronounced as CNN (Grynbaum). This was not to be as the election turned upside down with Trump’s victory much to the dismay of the media houses.
In conclusion, it can be noted that the differences arising from the two news channels arose mainly due to perceived news anchor affiliation to a particular candidate. On the other hand the similarities could be observed on the styles of broadcast.