May 20, 2022

Analysis From Media Cloud: “Coverage of COVID-19 and Political Partisanship – Comparing Across Nations”

Note: Media Cloud is an Open Source Media Analysis Platform from the MIT Center For Civic Media and The Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society at Harvard University.

From a MediaCloud Blog Post:

In US media, virtually every national or international news story is seen through a partisan lens. It’s reasonable to hypothesize that the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, would follow a similar pattern. In particular, given President Trump’s attempts to minimize the impacts of the disease, we might expect to see less attention from right wing media than from more mainstream sources popular with the political center and center-left.

We used research from Benkler et. al., that classified a large set of US news sources into left, center-left, center, center-right and right, based on who retweeted which stories during the 2016 election. People who retweeted Donald Trump were very likely to retweet Fox News and Breitbart, for instance, while people who supported Hillary Clinton were more likely to retweet the New York Times or CNN. Media Cloud has media collections based on this research preloaded, so this is a very easy search to set up.

Searching US media on Media Cloud using “coronavirus OR COVID OR wuhan” as search terms, from January 1 to March 25, using the five partisan media collections from the Benkler research, we see the following pattern:

Read the Complete Analysis
1892 words.

See Also: Direct to Media Cloud Database/Tools

See Also: Analysis: “Information Pandemic: Initial Explorations Of COVID-19 Coverage” (March 22, 2020)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.