It was as if this moment was meant to be.
For the last three years, the nation has been engulfed in a narrative that began in June 2015 when Donald Trump announced his presidential run.
It culminated eighteen months later with his narrow and surprising election.
Ever since, America has felt like a battleground, with salvos being fired from the left and right. Every day brings a tweet storm, a rebuttal, a reaction to the rebuttal, an accusation of scandal, an insult, and deepening polarization. It all played out on social media and in the press — both mainstream and partisan.
And now we have the motherlode of all battles: impeachment — an official congressional inquiry into whether the president committed offenses that warrant his removal from office.
But like so much else of the past three years, the way the story of this watershed moment is being told depends on where you live and who is doing the telling.
The local news coverage data was derived from the larger Local News Effort Initiative directed by Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Priyanjana Bengani. Using CrowdTangle, a platform which illustrates cross-platform social media engagement, Bengani captured local news coverage from a list of 600 U.S. local organizations with around 10 per state. To choose these news sources, Bengani referenced LION, Google News, Wikipedia, and manually-selected independent local news organizations to ensure diversity in media type.
The news coverage pulled for these seven states was gathered through various keyword searches for “impeach” and “impeachment.” Thus, related narratives such as “Ukraine,” “Giuliani,” etc. may not be included because of the way the data was compiled for this project.
These seven states were chosen as representative of one reliably blue state (Colorado), one reliably red state (Mississippi), and five states that voted for Trump in 2016 (Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, Michigan), but are perceived to be up for grabs in the 2020 election.