7/22: Election integrity and voting rights, side by side

A couple of weeks ago we looked at the battle over election integrity vs. voting rights on social media. This week we decided to check it out in the traditional news media.

What we found is a tightly interwoven network of stories crossing political parties and state lines, painting a much more complex picture than what we saw on social media.

The terms were also used more equally: while voting rights still obtained overall more coverage, election integrity competed more strongly over the last week in news media than it had previously on social.

Voting rights and election integrity also encompassed a whopping 89% of elections news coverage this week: we see this being feasible as most elections-related topics can fall under the umbrella of those two terms (apart from the often neglected third child of the elections world, gerrymandering).

31% of coverage independently covered voting rights, 17% covered election integrity, and 21% of stories discussed both topics.

There are some pockets that are stronger for voting rights than election integrity and vice versa; for example, the north portion of the network gathered news primarily about John Lewis and the For the People Act, while the west side of the network has a lot of coverage relating to the Arizona election audit and the ongoing legislative battle in Texas.

Same network, different labeling.

Overall, however, the news network this week suggests that voting rights and election integrity are often being talked about concurrently, spanning current events on both national and state levels.

Again, this contrasts from what we saw on social media. This may not be surprising: much of the content that individuals share on social platforms is one-sided due to either space limitations or personal views, whereas traditional media often aims to have differing angles on a story. Regardless, in an era of fiercely partisan political news reporting, the dispersement of our two topics across the spectrum is, dare we say, encouraging.

That's all for this week.