To be sure, the recent trend data might just be a blip, and these two studies involve relatively small sample sizes and come with lots of caveats. We’re not saying the COVID-19 is nothing to worry about.But these recent developments do raise a question. Will the news media report good news as aggressively as they’ve been reporting the bad?
See also: If It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media.
Fear-based news programming has two aims. The first is to grab the viewer's attention. In the news media, this is called the teaser. The second aim is to persuade the viewer that the solution for reducing the identified fear will be in the news story. If a teaser asks, "What's in your tap water that YOU need to know about?" a viewer will likely tune in to get the up-to-date information to ensure safety.