Dispatches from the TV News Team

Clinton’s debate prep most aired clip on morning news shows

Hillary Clinton talking about her preparation for the debate — and the presidency — was one of the most aired clips on TV news shows the morning following the first presidential debate, according to analysis of TV News Archive data by the Wall Street Journal.

The most aired clip on TV news shows the morning after the first presidential debate on major news morning shows showed Clinton saying: “Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate … And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.” The Wall Street Journal noted that “Mrs. Clinton’s statement came in response to Donald Trump’s remark that he’d recently traveled to several cities to meet people “very, very upset with what their politicians have told them” while Mrs. Clinton didn’t travel.”

The Wall Street Journal continued: “This sound bite was played at least 11 times across four morning shows: Five times on CNN’s “New Day,” three times on NBC’s “Today,” twice on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and once on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

While the debate broke records for number of people watching on their old-fashioned TV sets (as opposed to online), what people perceive about the debate can be influenced by popular TV news shows and how they report on it. Now, for the first time, the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive is offering downloadable metadata to help journalists, researchers, and the public decipher how TV news shows are portraying the debate.

The data are fueled by the Duplitron, an open source tool that uses audio fingerprinting to identify identical segments repeated in a selected video stream. For this analysis, the TV News Archive examined TV news coverage of the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on September 26, 2016. For the source media, the TV News Archive used the NBC broadcast, found here. The following TV channels were searched for matches:

  • September 26, 2016: two hours following the debates (10:41 to 12:41 EST) for Fox, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Telemundo, Univision
  • September 27, 2016: two hours of shows (7:00 to 9:00 am EST) for Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Univision
  • September 27, 2016: three hours of morning shows (6:00 to 9:00 am EST) for MSNBC
  • September 27, 2016: two hours of shows from 4:00 to 6:00 am PST on PBS/Telemundo from the TV News Archive’s San Francisco feed.

The resulting data are available for download in csv format. For more explanation about what is contained in these files, visit this debate project page.

By releasing these data, the TV News Archive hopes to encourage journalists and researchers to take a hard look at how the media reports on debates, and visualize this information in creative ways. These data will also fuel analysis by our partners at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, who are integrating findings into public opinion surveys about the debates.

The TV News Archive plans to make similar data available following the vice presidential debate on October 4, as well as the two remaining presidential debates, on October 9 and October 19. In addition, the TV News Archive will make available near real-time livestream of future debates to journalists and the public, where debate clips may be edited, embedded, and shared on social media.