Study: U.S. Media’s Covid Coverage Slants Heavily Negative, by Brian McGlinchey

You can’t scare people to death with positive stories. From Brian McGlinchey at starkrealities.substack.com:

Mainstream outlets stoke fear while shielding us from encouraging facts

If you’ve felt the media has heavily emphasized bad news throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, your judgment now has some scholarly corroboration.

Dartmouth College and Brown University researchers have analyzed tens of thousands of Covid-19 articles and found major U.S. media outlets have overwhelmingly pushed negative narratives about the virus.

“The most striking fact is that 87 percent of the U.S. stories are classified as negative, whereas 51 percent of the non-U.S. stories are classified as negative,” according to the study by Dartmouth economics professor Bruce Sacerdote, Dartmouth’s Ranjan Sehgal and Brown University’s Molly Cook.

Thwarting Public Clarity About Covid-19

Though the study doesn’t delve deep into the societal implications, there’s little doubt excessive media negativity has contributed to public misunderstanding of the nature of the disease and the risk it poses to various segments of society.

Consider one of study’s most glaring findings: Even when Covid-19 cases were falling nationally between April 24 and June 27, major media discussed rising caseloads 5.3 times as frequently as falling ones.

The impact was evident: A June CBS News poll found a record number of Americans felt the fight against coronavirus was going badly. Of course, news of the poll was itself another negative story, feeding a media-facilitated vicious circle of fear.

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