COVID-19 pandemic coverage: How has the media fared so far?

The media has been at the forefront of information ever since the pandemic began, putting out continuous updates, reports, and information as they came through. This report delves into America’s news consumption, as well as its opinion on the media coverage of the virus. Media outlets can leverage this data in their decision making.

It’s perhaps the first time in decades that the media has been hooked to just one story for months on end. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the concept of wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage, not only for the news industry but for viewers as well.

Three months into the full-fledged pandemic coverage, questions are now being raised on whether the media is over-covering the crisis. Particularly, when a good 46% of Americans believe that the non-stop reporting has resulted in some confusion and panic, as revealed by the Piplsay survey. So, where are Americans getting their news from, and what do they think of media’s COVID-19 coverage so far? Piplsay polled 30,294 Americans to get these insights. Here’s a summary of what we found.

Other insights

  • 66% of men are following COVID-19 news closely as compared to 57% of women
  • Men prefer watching cable TV more than women, while women prefer watching local TV more
  • 51% of Gen Zers think the media has exaggerated the risks as compared to 47% of Millenials and 43% of Gen Xers
  • Over 50% of Gen Zers and Millenials are consuming online news, while close to 60% of Gen Zers are following television news
“The virus has affected every aspect of our lives. Given its spread and consequences, the media is totally justified in covering it so extensively. Every other news has taken a backseat for now” – Justin
“The media coverage has mostly been biased and has also included misinformation, racial stereotyping, and even sensationalism. The focus on real issues and stories has been far and few between” – Amy

Survey Methodology: This Piplsay survey (powered by Market Cube) was conducted nationwide in the US from May 23-24, 2020. We received 30,294 online responses from individuals aged 18 years and older.

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