The Three Phases Of Covid-19 Television News Coverage: Social Distancing To Masking To Vaccines

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Television news coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic can be seen to follow three distinct stages, emphasizing social distancing at the beginning, then giving way to masking and finally to vaccination.

The timeline below shows the percentage of airtime mentioning social distancing since the start of last year showing how it dominated early pandemic coverage. It is noteable that mentions of social distancing have largely disappeared since the election.

GDELT Project

In turn, the timeline below shows airtime devoted to masking, showing how it dominated the middle of 2020, but like social distancing, it has faded since the election.

GDELT Project

Finally, the timeline below shows airtime devoted to vaccines, showing how they now dominate coverage.

GDELT Project