TV News Coverage Of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick: The Different Stories Of Spoken Versus Onscreen Mentions

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How was the death of slain Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick covered on television news? What can we learn about how spoken word mentions can offer a very different picture from onscreen textual mentions and why it is so important to look at both measures?

The chart below shows that from January 8 (the day his name first appeared) through February 2, CNN mentioned him 210 times, MSNBC 119 times and Fox News 64 times. In all, CNN and MSNBC combined mentioned him 5.1 times more than Fox News.

GDELT Project

Yet, something interesting happens when we instead look at how often his name appeared in the onscreen text, as seen in the graph below. Here, Fox News displayed his name the most often, for a total of 2,039 seconds, compared with 1,992 seconds on CNN and 1,727 seconds on MSNBC. In fact, for the first two days of coverage, Fox News displayed his name more than CNN and MSNBC combined both days and has displayed his name as much or more the last few days, including displaying it nearly 8 times as often this past Sunday.

GDELT Project