Comparing Television News Coverage Of The Boulder And Atlanta Shootings

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How did television news coverage of the Boulder and Atlanta shootings compare? The timeline below shows the total number of mentions of Boulder, King Soopers or the alleged shooter. There was a spike the day of the shooting and coverage sharply dropped over the following two days, dropping to nearly zero three days after the shooting. Fox News maintained the same level of coverage the day after the shooting, while CNN and MSNBC quickly pivoted away. Fox also covered the shooting far less than its peers.

GDELT Project

The day of the shooting and the following day were both marked by heavy coverage of firearms and this attention faded far more slowly than coverage about the shooting itself, as seen in the timeline below. Combining coverage of the shooting with coverage of firearms, 51% of CNN's coverage referenced firearms, 59% of Fox News' did and 58% of MSNBC's did.

GDELT Project

In contrast, the timeline below shows mentions of the Atlanta shooting, showing sustained coverage for four days and elevated coverage lasting more than a week. Fox News covered it far less than its peers.

GDELT Project

The timeline below shows mentions of "Asian" and "Asians" showing elevated mentions lasting 6 days. Combining mentions of the shooting and the words "Asian" and "Asians," 74% of CNN's coverage emphasized race, 63% of Fox News' did and 75% of MSNBC's did. Overall the two shootings received relatively similar numbers of total mentions across television news, but the Boulder shooting faded much faster than the Atlanta shooting.

GDELT Project