How much attention is television news paying to growing concern over shortages as the economy begins to reopen? The timeline below shows total monthly mentions of "shortage" and "shortages" over the past decade across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. March 2020 had the most mentions as hospitals struggled with shortages of medical supplies like masks, gowns and ventilators. May 2021 had the second highest number of mentions as gas shortages from the Colonial Pipeline hack were combined with growing shortages of goods and workers.
The timeline below zooms into the period from January 1, 2020 through present and adds business news channels Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business, showing how the March 2020 surge was primarily driven by CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, with business channels mentioning shortages far less. In contrast, the current surge began building in March 2021 on business channels, while CNN, MSNBC and Fox News show only a brief surge in mentions during the Colonial Pipeline-related gas shortages.