54% of Americans Think Media Is Doing a Good Job With Coronavirus Crisis

New Pew research indicates Americans have a “positive” view of the media’s coverage overall

The situation in newsrooms is dire because of the coronavirus, but more than half of Americans appreciate the efforts of the media reporting on the pandemic.

New Pew research indicates that 54% of American adults say the news media has done an “excellent or good job” responding to the new pandemic sweeping the world and upending the country’s way of life. A smaller amount, 46%, say the media is doing a “fair” or “poor” job covering the coronavirus.

The number of American adults watching the news about the coronavirus “very closely” is 57% while 35% are following it “fairly closely.”

Interest in the news isn’t what has been plaguing media outlets since the outbreak of the pandemic. Instead, it’s a lack of ad sales from businesses that have been forced to close down.

Just in the past few weeks, numerous local papers have folded, laid off staff or cut back operations as advertising — the foundation of papers’ revenue — has disappeared with the closures of local restaurants, bars, shops and event venues. St. Louis’ Riverfront Times laid off nearly its entire staff  because of dwindling advertising and a loss of revenue from now-canceled events. California’s Monterey County Weekly, meanwhile, laid off one-third of its staff. C&G Newspapers, a Michigan publishing group, suspended the publication of 19 of its print papers, while D.C.’s Metro Weekly and Las Vegas’ Gaming Today suspended their print editions. And Pennsylvania’s Trib Total Media laid off staffers and combined two Pittsburgh-area editions in what president Jennifer Bertetto called “a temporary adjustment in reaction to extraordinary circumstances.”

Vice Media cut the workweeks of employees over a certain earnings thresholds while American newspaper giant Gannett issued pay cuts and furloughs to anyone making over $38,000.

Lindsey Ellefson

Lindsey Ellefson

Media reporter • lindsey.ellefson@thewrap.com • Twitter: @ellefs0n


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