Ordinarily one might expect a volcanic eruption that left at least 16 dead and at least 29 injured would have earned wall-to-wall news coverage, especially given the volume of attention paid to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in which no direct deaths or severe injuries were attributed. However, the Whakaari ("White Island") eruption occurred at a time that the impeachment of US president Donald Trump has been dominating headlines, leaving little time for coverage of other global events.
The timeline below shows overall television coverage of the eruption, showing CNN has covered it more than MSNBC and Fox News:
Yet compared with impeachment coverage over the same time period, all of these mentions barely register as a blip:
Worldwide online news coverage shows a better balance, but even here, the attention on the US impeachment process far surpassed the natural disaster.
It is worth asking why the Notre Dame cathedral fire warranted so much more coverage, despite no directly attributed fatalities or injuries or why impeachment has so saturated news coverage that there is little room left for other topics. The answers to such questions would yield fascinating insights into the functioning of today's media system.