Business And International Television News Covers Coronavirus More Than CNN/MSNBC/FOX

The timeline below shows how Al Jazeera, BBC News, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News and MSNBC have covered the Coronavirus since the start of this year. All eight stations largely began their coverage on January 18th, though Al Jazeera and BBC were the first to devote heavy attention to it, with the others ramping up over the following week.

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Looking at the timeline above and hiding all but CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, they peaked at the end of Feb and then have steadily decreased their coverage over the past week until sharply increasing on Feb. 5th.

In contrast, BBC News has maintained steady coverage since Feb 28th, while Al Jazeera decreased its attention only slightly.

The business press has remained fixated on the virus almost since they first started covering it in late January, reflecting the much stronger signal economic markets have projected about its impact.

The graph below breaks down the percentage of total airtime thus far this year that each station has devoted to coverage of the virus. Bloomberg is clearly in the lead, followed by BBC News, with Al Jazeera and CNBC close behind and Fox Business half a percent below. In contrast, CNN and Fox News each spent less than half the amount of time as the closest next station and MSNBC spent half as much again on the virus.

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In short, international stations were the first to really recognize the virus as a major story, with the financial news fixating on the rapid economic impact of the outbreak's spread, while domestic US stations have focused far less on the story.