The pandemic has affected the collective psyche of the American people- so much so, that they seem to prefer bad news over good news when it comes to the virus.
Be it a way to justify draconian policies or simply because of the times we live in, Americans appear to demand bleak news from mainstream media outlets, who in turn are more than happy to peddle doom for clicks and ratings.
The findings have been recorded in a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, who discovered that 65 percent of scientific journal articles and 54 percent of non-US. news articles were negative in tone, versus an overwhelming 91 percent of US media reports.
The working paper has been titled, “Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?”
“US major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general,” the authors wrote.
In one case, according to Reason, the study found that major media “emphasized caveats from health officials and experts downplaying the optimistic timeline and past success” when it came to vaccines, and took a very negative view on re-opening schools.
However, despite certain political factions taking full advantage of the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t appear to translate completely to the way media tends to spin for their faction of choice.
“Negativity appears to be unrelated to the political leanings of the newspaper’s or network’s audience,” wrote the authors.
The coverage, in large part, seems to follow how the media also covers murders, mass-shootings and natural disasters- the “If it bleeds, it leads” approach of media saturation to the point of even potentially inspiring copycat incidents.
The side-effect of dismal coronavirus news appears to be depression on the part of the consumer, to the point where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged people to stop consuming so much COVID-19-related news.
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