"When critics have accused journalists of fueling the Trump bandwagon, members of the media have offered two denials. One is that they were in watchdog mode, that Trump’s coverage was largely negative, that the “bad news” outpaced the “good news.” The second rebuttal is that the media’s role in Trump’s ascent was the work of the cable networks—that cable was “all Trump, all the time” whereas the traditional press held back.
Neither of these claims is supported by the evidence. Figure 2 shows the news balance in Trump’s coverage during the invisible primary. As can be seen, Trump’s coverage was favorable in all of the news outlets we studied. There were differences from one outlet to the next but the range was relatively small, from a low of 63 percent positive or neutral in The New York Times to a high of 74 percent positive or neutral in USA Today. Across all the outlets, Trump’s coverage was roughly two-to-one favorable."
Or, in a graphic from the study:
"For her part, Clinton might have wished that the Democratic race received even less attention than it did, given that her coverage was the least favorable of the leading contenders, Democratic and Republican. Month after month, as Figure 6 indicates, her coverage was more negative than positive. There was only one month in the whole of 2015 where the tone of her coverage was not in the red and, even then, it barely touched positive territory. During the first half of the year, excluding neutral references, it averaged three to one negative statements over positive statements...Whereas media coverage helped build up Trump, it helped tear down Clinton. Trump’s positive coverage was the equivalent of millions of dollars in ad-buys in his favor, whereas Clinton’s negative coverage can be equated to millions of dollars in attack ads, with her on the receiving end."
And again a graphic from the study:
I must warn people of a phenomenon that I have observed for numerous elections now, but which I have never seen mentioned by a single other person, left or right. It has been customary for the press to have a brief period before the conventions when they make a feint of presenting some kind of modestly honest coverage of the candidates, before shifting back to their unrelenting support of the Republican, no matter what an incompetent, lying con man he clearly is. This is done so that, in later years, this can be cited as some sort of proof that the press was even-handed. In fact, this period represents the point at which committed, politically involved people have virtually all made their choices, and politically uninvolved, low information voters are still tuned out. It is a safe time to pretend to be fair, before getting back to their flacking for the party of the rich; do not delude yourself into thinking that anything different is going to happen this time around, no matter how horrible a Trump Presidency would be for the country.
Link found via Daily Kos.