How Are Fake News, Misinformation And Disinformation Being Covered On Television News?

The timeline below compares monthly mentions of the terms "misinformation," "disinformation" and "fake news"  across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News over the past decade. Immediately clear is that the 2016 election represents an inflection point for all three. Fake news surges in mentions in the month after and has declined steadily ever since, reflecting its unique attachment to the 2016 election. Mentions of "disinformation" also increase sharply after the election, then remain stable through late 2019 and accelerate through a peak in December 2020 and have decreased steadily since. Mentions of "misinformation" increased slightly after the 2016 election, then surged in February 2020 in the early days of the pandemic and have increased steadily throughout the pandemic.

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