How Has Television News Covered Masks? | Video | RealClearPolitics

How Has Television News Covered Masks?


How have masks been covered on television news? The timeline below shows total daily mentions of masks since the start of last year across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, showing how when masks first emerged as a mitigation measure against Covid-19, the three channels covered them nearly equally. In late April 2020 they diverged, with CNN mentioning masks the most, Fox News the least and MSNBC in the middle. Beginning in November 2020, the difference in mentions across the three decreased sharply and in April 2021 Fox News actually began mentioning masks the most. 

GDELT Project

Zooming into the April 2021 to present period, the timeline below shows how shortly after the CDC announced on April 22, 2021 that it was considering revising its mask guidance, Fox News sharply increased its discussion of masking, beating CNN and MSNBC. It has continued to mention masks as much or more than its peers in the month since.

GDELT Project

Overall, since January 2020, the graph below shows that CNN has mentioned masks the most, followed by MSNBC and then Fox News.

GDELT Project


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