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Why Is All COVID News Bad?

Added 11-29-20 08:31:02pm EST - “Three professors, two from Dartmouth and one from Brown, have produced a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research titled, 'Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?' It focuses on the U.S. press, and its findings are disturbing:…” - Powerlineblog.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Powerlineblog.com: “Why Is All COVID News Bad?”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Three professors, two from Dartmouth and one from Brown, have produced a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research titled, “Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?” It focuses on the U.S. press, and its findings are disturbing:

On February 18, the Oxford Mail published a story that Professor Sarah Gilbert and her colleagues at Oxford’s Jenner Institute were working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus and that rapid vaccine development could be possible given the scientists’ existing work and experience with a possible MERS vaccine. In contrast with Oxford Mail’s reporting, the U.S. major media outlets of Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post did not begin coverage of Professor Gilbert’s COVID-19 related work until late April. The U.S. based stories emphasized caveats from health officials and experts downplaying the optimistic timeline and past success of the Oxford researchers. The earliest available (major outlet) U.S. story is from CNN on April 23rd and begins with a quote from England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty saying that the probability of having a vaccine or treatment “anytime in the next calendar year” is “incredibly small.”

A prediction that turned out to be wrong. But the pessimism of U.S. news outlets regarding the Wuhan virus has been consistent:

Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals. The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials. Media negativity is unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience.

That last is an interesting point. It would be reasonable to assume that negative COVID coverage is part of the liberal media’s effort to drive President Trump from office, and to some degree I have no doubt that this is true. But “conservative” news outlets have shown more or less the same pessimistic bias, and that seems to be what American news consumers want:

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