News Story Characteristics from Scandal News, 1986-1998: [United States]

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Querna, Elizabeth J.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Clinton Administration (1993-2001); government corruption; Hart, Gary; Iran Contra affair; Lewinsky scandal; media coverage; misconduct in office; news media; politicians; public figures; Reagan Administration (1981-1989)
  • Abstract

    These data examine features of news coverage, through the content analysis of transcripts and newspaper articles, describing four scandals that broke during the 1980s and 1990s to ascertain the difference between news coverage in the two decades. Articles and broadcast transcripts were drawn from three sources: THE NEW YORK TIMES, ABC News, and CNN News. Coverage of the following four scandals were analyzed: the Iran-Contra affair (President Reagan and his staff's alleged illegal sale of weapons to Iran and the use of that profit to aid Nicaraguan rebels), Gary Hart's affair (presidential candidate accused of having an affair with model Donna Rice), Clinton fundraising (President Clinton and the Democratic National Party accused of illegally soliciting campaign contributions for the president's reelection bid), and the Monica Lewinsky affair (President Clinton accused of having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky). News coverage, from the break of the story to one week following, was coded according to the subject of the story the news source, whether the story was factual, whether it was an analysis or a personal profile, whether the story was critical, sympathetic, or neutral, headline prominence, placement in the news lineup, presence of an "importance phrase", presence of additional issue-oriented stories, length of article/broadcast, whether the story made a prediction, the points of view presented, use of sensationalized words/phrases, number and type of sources, whether the story reported facts from other news sources, whether the story utilized rumors or unconfirmed facts, whether the report introduced a new fact or development, whether a reporter or commentator was consulted in addition to the host (if a broadcast), whether sensitive facts were presented, whether the story was placed in a political context, and whether the story mentioned previous events in the scandal.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • (1) The data are provided both as SPSS portable and STATA data files. (2) This project was supported and/or funded by the Dartmouth College Department of Government and the Dartmouth College Richter Memorial Trust, with special collaboration by Professor Lynn Vavreck. (3) These data were used in the completion of an undergraduate honors thesis entitled "Are We Numb to News?: The Political Consequences of the 24-Hour News Cycle". Those interested in obtaining a copy of this thesis should directly contact the principal investigator. (4) This collection has not been processed by ICPSR staff. ICPSR is distributing the data and documentation for this collection in essentially the same form in which they were received. When appropriate, documentation has been converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), data files have been converted to non-platform-specific formats, and variables have been recoded to ensure respondents' anonymity. (5) The codebook, including data collection instrument and frequencies, is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 2990 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15