Network News: Cop Misdeeds Get Six Times More Time Than ISIS Terror

May 7th, 2015 3:39 PM

If you're more afraid of the cop on the corner than ISIS, maybe you should blame the media. In the month of April, according to a new survey by the Media Research Center, allegations of police misconduct accounted for one out of every seven minutes of broadcast evening news airtime, or 3 hours, 43 minutes.

That's three times more airtime than the next-most-covered topic, the 2016 presidential campaign (1 hour, 18 minutes), and nearly six times more airtime than the Big Three devoted to the ISIS terror threat in April (38 minutes, 45 seconds).

The NBC Nightly News devoted the most airtime to the topic of police misconduct (1 hour, 27 minutes), followed by the CBS Evening News and ABC's World News Tonight (1 hour, 8 minutes and 1 hour, 5 minutes, respectively).

Protests over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, including the subsequent riots in Baltimore, attracted the most coverage, with  1 hour, 48 minutes of broadcast airtime. The shooting of a suspect by a Tulsa reserve deputy garnered 29 minutes of airtime, followed by the videotaped shooting of a fleeing suspect by a South Carolina police officer (24 minutes).

Despite the relative lack of network news interest, there was no shortage of news involving ISIS during the month of April. On April 2 and 3, three American women were arrested for trying to join ISIS; later in the month, more U.S. and British citizens reportedly tried to join ISIS. On April 16, NBC reported an Ohio man had returned to the United States after receiving terror training from ISIS.

Yet even together, these stories amounted to only a tiny fraction of the airtime devoted to claims of police misconduct.