Bitcoin has become a household name today, a topic that can be discussed over dinner. This wasn’t always so and mainstream media outlets have had a lot to do with this. And according to a new study, the coverage has shot up even as the prices of most cryptos slumped. The study was carried out by Clovr and surveyed 48 international mainstream media outlets. It revealed that as cryptos rose in value towards the end of 2017, news coverage hit an all-time high at over 400 crypto-related articles a week. However, despite the prices dipping this year, the coverage has seen bursts of growth, especially during the dips.
Forbes And Business Insider Lead, WSJ And Reuters Are Most Hostile
The study covered articles published between May 2013 and July 2018 on some of the most popular sites in finance, politics and technology. Not surprisingly, finance and economic sites were the most crypto-friendly with 55 percent of their coverage being positive. Skew liberal sites such as CNN, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times came in second at 52 percent, with tech sites such as Mashable and CNET coming in third at 42 percent positive coverage.
Skew conservative sites such as Fox News and Breitbart News were found to be the most hostile, with 89 percent of their coverage on crypto being negative. While Breitbart has been negative on cryptos, its founder and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon has been quite bullish, stating that he owns a ‘good stake’ in bitcoin. Bannon also revealed that he was working on his own crypto mid this year.
Individually, Forbes and Business Insider were the most positive regarding crypto, with a combined 1,335 crypto-positive articles. CNN, Mashable, TIME, CNET and HuffPost were among the other crypto-friendly sites. Some sites such as CNBC were quite neutral, with 48 percent of its 987 articles being positive.
The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Yahoo Finance had the highest number of crypto-negative articles published over that time period. However, in terms of proportion, Breitbart News was the most crypto-hostile, with all their 66 articles published over that time period being deemed to express negative sentiment towards cryptos. Raw Story at 96 percent and Vox at 82 percent were second and third respectively.
Despite cryptos being a polarizing subject with a huge portion of the population, media outlets were discovered to have become quite neutral in their reporting. During cryptos’ early days, most of the reporting was glowing and they were spoken of in high praise. However, after hitting $20,000 and beginning to decline, fear, uncertainty and doubt dominated the news cycles.
As 2018 progressed, and possibly also influenced by the entry of institutional investors, media outlets became increasingly neutral on cryptos. For some outlets like CNET, they even became crypto-friendly. The study further states that charitable causes by members of the crypto community also quite influenced the sentiments covered on media outlets.
Interestingly, while crypto slumped this year, the amount of coverage they got on mainstream media outlets didn’t sink with the prices. While there was a slight decrease from the all-time high which stood at 400 articles a week, the coverage was still healthy at around 200 articles a week.