When it came to taking the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, was the American media fast enough to act? Digital Third Coast recently performed an analysis of Covid-19 media coverage to see when publications began to pursue the subject.
Using the Internet Archive Wayback machine, we studied snapshots of coronavirus-related news and opinion over the first 10 weeks of this year, across 18 of the nation’s most prominent online publications. No sector of the mainstream media was quicker and more vigilant in tracking the emergence of Covid-19 than finance-focused publications. By the end of January, Bloomberg, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal accounted for 46% of all Covid-19 headlines analyzed. When looking at coronavirus as the lead story on a publication’s home page, Bloomberg and Reuters had the most Covid-19 related lead stories in January while the New York Times and ABC News had the strongest finishes, each with four consecutive weeks of lead stories heading into mid-March. When analyzing total coronavirus headlines over 10 weeks these 10 publications had the most coverage: 1. Bloomberg 2. Reuters 3. Breitbart 4. WSJ 5. NBC News 6. CBS News 7. Politico 8. New York Post 9. ABC News 10. USA Today.