Anyone who’s seen the headlines in recent weeks knows that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has dominated media coverage. Now a recent analysis by software giant Cision shows just how prominent that coverage has been.
According to Cision’s Global Insights team, which tracked COVID-19 media between Jan. 1 and March 3, coronavirus coverage has been so salient in the media landscape that it recently outpaced President Trump, who’s consistently dominated news coverage since 2016.
Cision’s analysis found that last week, “coronavirus” mentions comprised 30 percent of the media topics analyzed while “Trump” mentions comprised 28 percent.
To date, about 3.08 million articles have been written about the virus, generating 25.7 social shares. Coronavirus coverage hit its peak in late February, when 139,000 coronavirus-related articles and 2.3 million social media shares were generated on Feb. 28 alone, according to Cision’s report.
|Mentions of COVID-19 surpassed mentions of Donald Trump in the past week, even though he has dominated the media landscape since 2016.|
Virus fatalities remains the primary coverage topic, followed by news of quarantines, testing and coverage of the outbreak in Washington state, which has claimed the most U.S.- based fatalities to date. Misinformation and false claims related to the virus have been a big focus among opinion-leading media outlets.
According to Cision’s analysis, the U.S. in February surpassed China as the leading producer of news coverage related to the virus, accounting for 37 percent of coronavirus-related news, compared to China’s 25 percent. The U.K., Australia, India and Canada follow.
Communications tech companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook led in coronavirus coverage mentions (22 percent) due to articles speculating on the virus’ financial impact as well as communications with employees regarding remote work options.
The travel industry was also featured prominently in coverage (19 percent), particularly in light of the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine, as well as what affects the virus might have on the tourism sector.
Coverage of the airlines sector also rose (13.6 percent) due to flight cancellations and business impact due to decreased travel.
The manufacturing (9.2 percent), retail (7.3 percent), electronics (7 percent) and healthcare (5.6 percent) industries all saw increased coverage, as did coverage of the automotive (5.5 percent), banking (4.3 percent) and oil (2.5 percent) sectors.
Cision anticipates coverage of the virus to continue its upward climb, with community outbreaks and the government’s handling of the virus response likely to drive coverage in the U.S. within the coming weeks.