Thursday, April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Perceptions Vary By Main News Source

Coverage of COVID-19 has dominated the news and resulted in skyrocketing ratings for the nation's cable news networks. 

And according to a new analysis of data from Pew Research Center's Election News Pathways project, responses to that coverage and the pandemic itself vary notably among Americans who identify Fox News, MSNBC or CNN as their main source of political news. 

One such difference emerges around knowledge and understanding of the pandemic: Those who name MSNBC as their main source for political news are far more likely than those who name Fox News to answer correctly that the new coronavirus came about naturally (66% vs. 37%) and that it will take a year or more for a vaccine to become available (78% vs. 51%). 

Among those who name CNN, the portion who answered these questions correctly falls between the MSNBC and Fox News numbers. Evaluations of the media's coverage of the pandemic also vary by the cable news network respondents named as their main source. 

The new analysis stems from a survey of 8,914 U.S. adults who are members of the Center's American Trends Panel, conducted March 10-16, 2020. Visit Pew's data tool to dig deeper into related survey questions. 

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