Study: 62 Percent of Stories on Economy Negative, Despite Expansion

August 19th, 2005 9:08 AM

The Free Market Project, a division of the Media Research Center that studies the media's coverage of the economy, concluded that despite the continued expansion of the economy, the "Big Three" networks chose to report negatively on the economy 62 percent of the time. Additionally, whenever there was a positive story, it would usually be treated as a brief. Amy Menefee, author of the report, noticed three key points:

* Economic news heavily negative: Coverage of economic news on the three broadcast networks was negative 62 percent of the time, despite ongoing good news of more jobs, low unemployment and economic growth.

* Good news undermined: Even when good news made it to viewers, journalists undermined it with bad news 45 percent of the time.

* Negative stories given more air time: Good news stories were relegated to briefs roughly two thirds of the time. Negative news received longer stories and outnumbered positive stories by almost 4-to-1 in that category.

Said Menefee, "The good news is that the economy is strong and growing. The bad news is the news about the economy."

Visit the Free Market Project to read the entire report.