Mentions Of "Testing" Decline Even As Public Health Officials Urge More

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Media Matters’ John Whitehouse noted last week that since late April, mentions of “testing” have been falling across the board on television news, with Fox News mentioning it the least. How have CNN, MSNBC and Fox News covered “testing” over the course of the pandemic?

The timeline below shows the percentage of their total daily airtime each of the three stations has mentioned the word “testing” since the start of this year, using data from the Internet Archive’s Television News Archive processed by the GDELT Project.

Mentions first begin to really take off starting February 27, surging in mid-March and then again in early April.

From February 27 through March 12, Fox News consistently mentioned “testing” less than its peers, but as of March 13, it mentioned testing at roughly the same rates as CNN and MSNBC. On April 7 Fox sharply departed from the other two stations in its mentions of testing and has consistently mentioned it several percent less each day through present.

At the same time, since April 21 all three stations have steadily mentioned testing less and less even as public health officials urge vast increases in testing.

Follow along with the live version of this graph!

GDELT Project