Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division, and manages the MRC's Bias by the Minute project (BBTM). Bias by the Minute is an extensive database of evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS and NBC, stretching back to January 2015. By utilizing this database, Ciandella and other MRC analysts are able to release detailed studies on network media coverage. On top of this, BBTM also publishes studies looking at cable news coverage, timing out the coverage of various topics to the second. 

You can check out the full archive of Bias by the Minutes stories here: http://newsbusters.org/administrative/bias-minute

Latest from Mike Ciandella
February 26, 2016, 10:41 AM EST

Trump University became a heated topic for last night’s GOP debate, but viewers of ABC, CBS and NBC news may never have heard of it. Despite the ongoing nature of the lawsuit involving Trump University, this topic has only gotten one story on any of the broadcast network evening shows since the campaign began last year.


February 25, 2016, 10:21 AM EST

Political scandals make for juicy journalism, but apparently a politician being cleared of wrong doing isn’t even worth a mention. When the initial story of Rick Perry’s indictment broke in August 2014, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted 25 minutes in just two days to topic, speculating that the controversy could “end any chance” for Perry in 2016. But when Perry was cleared of any wrongdoing, all three networks were silent, on both the evening news shows that night and the morning news shows the following day.

February 22, 2016, 3:25 PM EST

Apparently, MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting completely misunderstands the meaning of the c-word. 

And by “c-word,” we, of course, mean “conservative.”

In his laughably headlined column: “Hillary Clinton will win because she’s the true conservative in this race,” Nutting liberally switches between the words “conservative” and “establishment,” arguing that both mean the same thing.

February 8, 2016, 2:52 PM EST

Debate night started a bit rough for ABC. Ben Carson missed his cue, and was left awkwardly waiting in the wings. After his name was called, Trump chose to wait offstage next to Carson. Then, moderator David Muir’s announcement of John Kasich’s name was drowned out by applause, leaving only four candidates on stage when moderator Martha Raddatz announced “ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates.”

But, ironically enough, the edition of World News Tonight directly before the debate had hyped the preparation that went into that very portion of the night.

February 6, 2016, 3:46 PM EST

While almost everyone else in America is talking about the Super Bowl, the three network evening news broadcasts have spent more time using the Super Bowl as a segue to talk about other topics than they have discussing the game itself. 

This year, a total of 30 minutes 15 seconds were spent on the general topic of the Super Bowl, but only 12 minutes of that we're spent on the actual game, or either of the teams involved.

February 5, 2016, 1:56 PM EST

If Hillary Clinton’s answers from last night seemed a bit familiar, it might be because you heard her give the same answers at an MSNBC debate back in 2007. 

During the September 26, 2007 debate on MSNBC, the late NBC correspondent Tim Russert ask Hillary about whether the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Liberary would disclose their donors. Hillary's response: "Well, you'll have to ask them," adding later that she was "sure" that Bill would be "happy to consider that."

January 27, 2016, 4:17 PM EST

Undercover journalists from both sides of the political spectrum could be severely limited by a Texas grand jury indictment against pro-life activists. The charges are so sweeping that they could affect the entire journalism industry, everything from the network news to environmental activists.

Yet, out of the three broadcast evening news shows, only CBS Evening News has noticed the “dangerous precedent” that this indictment could have for journalism. NBC Nightly News devoted 70 seconds to the ruling, but failed to mentioned any negative consequences for the industry.

January 14, 2016, 1:36 PM EST

A new Media Research Center study of every broadcast network evening newscast of 2015 documents last year's news agenda: heavy on crime, terrorism and weather, but light on Democratic scandals, ObamaCare's failings, the out-of-control national debt, sanctuary cities and Planned Parenthood's grotesqueries. In their Campaign '16 coverage, the networks highlighted Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who had by far the most coverage of any presidential candidate.

December 23, 2015, 1:31 PM EST

The same George Stephanopoulos who gave $75,000 to Hillary Clinton hosted the political segment of ABC’s The Year: 2015, where jokes about conservatives got ugly but jokes about Hillary were off limits. After running the usual criticisms of Trump’s campaign, ABC brought in comedian and former Current TV personality Brett Erlich to bring some “humor” to the segment. When the topic of Hillary’s emails came up, Erlich was quick to turn his focus back to the Republicans. “If you are asking to see someone's e-mails, you are like an annoying jealous boyfriend. That's what they sound like.”

December 9, 2015, 3:45 PM EST

The networks are never willing to let a good Trump controversy go to waste.

The morning and evening news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC have dedicated a whopping 105 minutes (1 hour and 45 minutes) to criticism of Trump’s comments about restricting Muslim immigration, since Trump made the comments on December 7.

November 5, 2015, 11:47 AM EST

Journalists love to claim that they’re fact-checking others, but sometimes they might need to take a closer look at their own work.

On Nov. 3, a CBS Evening News graphic during an obituary for Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi stated that the Chalabi had died in 2105, instead of 2015 – a 161 year life span.

November 3, 2015, 12:25 PM EST

The Kansas City Royals may have won Major League Baseball’s World Series, but the World Series lost when it came to network news coverage of professional sports championships.

MRC’s analysis of the three evening news broadcasts shows that in 2015, ABC, CBS and NBC overwhelmingly favored coverage of the NFL Super Bowl, with 59 minutes of coverage.

September 25, 2015, 11:31 AM EDT

He’s only been in the US for a few days, but the Pope has already accomplished what 16 GOP presidential candidates haven’t been able to for months: getting more network coverage than Donald Trump. 

During the first three days Pope Francis was in the U.S., the news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC spent eight times the amount of coverage on the Pope than they did on presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

September 16, 2015, 9:56 AM EDT

A Media Research Center study finds that, over a two week period, coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign took up nearly 78 percent of all CNN’s prime time GOP campaign coverage – 580 minutes out of a total of 747 minutes. All 16 non-Trump candidates got a combined total of just 167 minutes.

July 23, 2015, 3:23 PM EDT

Over the past 9 days, ABC News has spent a grand total of 46 seconds on Planned Parenthood executives trying to sell pieces of aborted babies for a profit. Yet, ABC’s Good Morning America on July 23, found 2 minutes to discuss how a beauty pageant contestant might be posing a threat to sharks.

July 4, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

Despite briefly mentioning at least six reported instances of American citizens joining ISIS in June, and multiple FBI warnings about ISIS’s influence in the United States, the networks chose to devote more time to the “threat” posed by the existence of the Confederate flag.

The evening news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC spent just 17 minutes, 35 seconds on the threat ISIS poses to American, and 37 minutes and 18 seconds on the controversy over the flag. This disparity in news coverage occurred during a ramped up social media campaign by ISIS to recruit Americans and other westerners to commit acts of terrorism.

July 3, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

The hunt for convicted killers who escaped a prison in New York State was the most covered topic on the evening news broadcasts of ABC, CBS and NBC for the month of June. This was closely followed by coverage of the brutal massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, with considerable amounts of air time dedicated to the 2016 presidential campaign, the ISIS terror threat and the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage.

June 15, 2015, 5:19 PM EDT

Back in 2008, the three broadcast evening newscasts showered then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama with good press during his trip to Europe that July, giving it a total of 92 minutes over an eight-day period (July 20 to July 27, 2008). GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s trip to Europe last week didn’t garner a single mention on ABC’s World News Tonight or the CBS Evening News.

June 8, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

As they did in April, the Big Three network evening news broadcasts in May spent more airtime talking about alleged police misconduct than any other single topic – nearly 109 minutes, more than the amount devoted to the Amtrak train derailment, the horrific floods in Texas or the war against ISIS. Nearly all of that network airtime was devoted to just three instances of alleged misconduct (in Baltimore, Cleveland and Madison, Wisconsin), plus general discussion of the topic. In contrast, all of the other murders committed in the U.S. in May garnered less than half as much time (50 minutes and 48 seconds).

May 21, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

On CNBC’s Squawk Box on May 21, GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie argued that the media’s coverage of Hillary Clinton’s political scandals compared to his own was “absurd.” 

“If I had come out, the day after the BridgeGate thing was announced, and said ‘by the way, all my emails are on a private server, and I deleted a whole bunch of them, and I destroyed the server, but you need to take my word for it. The emails had nothing to do with the bridge stuff.” Can you even imagine what would the reaction have been?”