A new study published in the journal Political Science Research Methods and Methods concludes that when it comes a possible Donald Trump presidency, media outlets are already engaged in a sustained and aggressive disinformation campaign.
The study, titled “The Political Media and the Election: Media and Information Conflict,” shows that since 2012, the media have been engaged in “a sustained and sustained campaign of disinformation” aimed at discrediting Trump.
The study found that since 2016, the coverage of the Trump presidency has become more aggressive, with journalists in the United States and abroad having an unprecedented amount of access to sensitive and classified information.
The researchers analyzed media coverage of Trump during the 2016 presidential election, finding that outlets that published articles critical of Trump were more likely to be labeled as “fake news” by readers.
They also found that the “fake media” label was not applied to articles that were critical of Hillary Clinton, which are the topics of the study.
“These findings provide an empirical basis for assessing media coverage regarding President Trump and suggest that the media’s current policy and political engagement may be a result of misinformation that has been disseminated by a network of trolls,” the researchers write.
The media has been in a “state of war” with Trump since the election, the researchers note, with outlets that were “frightened” by Trump’s victory receiving unprecedented access to information.
The media have also been engaged “in a sustained campaign against Trump” since 2016.
The report comes after the Washington Post published an investigation last month that exposed the media for “fake” news, with one of the authors claiming that the outlet’s editor-in-chief was “working to smear Trump’s supporters.”
The study’s authors also note that while the media may be “shrugging off the issue” and focusing on the election results, they have “no idea” what the impact will be on future administrations.
“It’s impossible to predict what impact these efforts will have on the future,” the authors write.
“The stakes are so high.”