Document Type


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Journal Title

Politics & Policy

Publication Date



Content analysis of front-page The New York Times stories during the first year of the Barack Obama presidency revealed news coverage that was far more positive in tone than that received during the first year of the Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush presidencies. Overall, the Obama findings reveal a media honeymoon in that influential newspaper, a sharp contrast from first-year coverage of other presidents during the modern era of a more combative press. The positive policy coverage Obama received in the Times was also significantly more positive than on evening newscasts of network television and on Fox News’ Special Report.

Publisher Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Farnsworth, S. J. and Lichter, S. R. (2012), News Coverage of New Presidents in The New York Times, 1981-2009. Politics & Policy, 40: 69–91, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.