In a recent study, researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that the US mainstream media fanned the fear of COVID, downplaying good news and deliberately emphasizing the bad.
The authors of the paper—Bruce Sacerdote, Ranjan Sehgal, and Molly Cook, who hail from Dartmouth College and Brown University—analyzed the tone of COVID-19 related news articles written since January 1 and found a striking difference in the way US media covered the pandemic compared to media in other countries.
“Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty-four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty-five percent for scientific journals,” the authors concluded. […]
“The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials,” the authors found. “Stories of increasing COVID-19 cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases by a factor of 5.5 even during periods when new cases are declining.” (emphasis added)