By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — Masks or no masks? Social distancing or not?
New analysis means that the media People eat issues when these choices are made. The examine discovered that folk drawn to conservative-leaning TV information have been a lot much less prone to observe COVID prevention tips.
Researchers analyzed knowledge from greater than 4,800 U.S. adults who took half in a nationwide on-line survey between April 1 and June 9.
Individuals have been requested about their COVID-19 preventive behaviors over the previous week, together with hand-washing and use of face coverings. They have been additionally requested about dangerous behaviors, comparable to going to bars or golf equipment, attending gatherings of greater than 10 folks, and visiting different folks’s houses.
As well as, they have been requested how a lot they trusted 18 skilled media sources for COVID-19 info, together with CNN and Fox Information, the 2 largest information retailers in america.
On common, respondents had used three skilled sources and about six others (together with social media, associates, household, colleagues and the White Home) to be taught concerning the coronavirus within the previous week.
About 29% stated they trusted CNN greater than Fox Information; 20% stated they trusted Fox Information greater than CNN. Greater than half (52%) stated they’d no choice.
Individuals who trusted CNN have been extra prone to observe preventive measures and fewer prone to report dangerous behaviors than those that trusted Fox Information, based on findings printed lately within the on-line journal BMJ International Well being.
On common, CNN followers practiced a mean of three.85 preventive behaviors and 0.94 dangerous behaviors, in contrast with 3.41 and 1.25, respectively, for individuals who most popular Fox Information.
Total, seniors, girls, these of non-Hispanic Asian ethnic backgrounds, and people with probably the most schooling have been extra prone to observe preventive tips. Those that had a job however weren’t capable of do business from home have been least seemingly to take action. The examine solely noticed associations, and didn’t decide trigger and impact.
“This examine has many coverage implications for the long run development of COVID-19 and well being messaging usually. In a extremely partisan atmosphere, false info might be simply disseminated,” stated the authors led by Erfei Zhao, from the College of Southern California’s Leonard Davis College of Gerontology.
In comparison with CNN, Fox Information “persistently downplayed the hazard of the virus for the sake of political curiosity,” the researchers stated in a journal information launch.
“Well being messaging, regardless of being one of many few efficient methods to decelerate the unfold of the virus within the absence of a vaccine, is doomed to fail if the media prioritize political pursuits over inhabitants well being,” they concluded.