Viewers of these news broadcasts most likely believe in COVID-19 falsehoods – Community News
Covid-19

Viewers of these news broadcasts most likely believe in COVID-19 falsehoods

Most American adults have heard or seen falsehoods about COVID-19, but their likelihood of believing the misinformation depends a lot on their news diet.

About 78% of U.S. adults said they either believe at least one myth about COVID-19 or aren’t sure whether at least one is true or false, according to the latest study tracking public opinion about COVID-19 from the Kaiser Family Foundation .

Belief in COVID-19 falsehoods followed with political affiliation and vaccination status, with Republicans who have not been vaccinated “much more likely to believe or be unsure of false statements” compared to Democrats who have been vaccinated, KFF found. KFF is an impartial, San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that provides information on health policy.

Researchers also found a link between the news outlets people trusted for COVID-19 information and their tendency to believe untruths about the pandemic, which is currently killing an estimated 1,200 Americans a day.

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There is no news broadcast that a majority of the public trust

Of those who said they trust COVID-19 information from network news, local TV news, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, a relatively small proportion (11% to 16%) believe or do not believe in at least four COVID-19 symptoms. myths . That share rose to nearly four in ten among people “who trust COVID-19 information from the more conservatively oriented One America News (37%) and Fox News (36%) and to nearly half (46%) among those who trust information from Newsmax.”

Crucially, the study didn’t examine whether falsehoods were being voiced on those networks — it merely sought to gauge the susceptibility or, indeed, vulnerability of their audiences to believe debunked myths surrounding COVID-19. In other words, it’s not necessarily the case that the outlets whose audiences are more likely to believe untruths are more likely to broadcast misinformation, the researchers noted.

“One thing this research can’t unravel is whether this is because people are exposed to misinformation from those news sources, or whether the types of people who choose those news sources are the same ones who tend to believe certain types of misinformation before others. reasons,” the study authors wrote.

It’s not necessarily the case that the news channels that the public are more likely to believe are COVID-19 myths are more likely to broadcast misinformation, the researchers noted.

While nearly half of the public trusts the information about COVID-19 they see on local TV and network news, no news channel has “gained the trust of a majority of the public when it comes to COVID-19 information.” discovered KFF.

Media representatives for ABC DIS,
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CBS VIACA,
+0.87%,
CNN T,
+0.97%,
MSNBC CMCSA,
+0.78%,
One America News, NBC, Newsmax and NPR did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A Fox News spokesperson pointed to previous research, including a study from the University of California, Davis, which found that while people who rely on Fox News for COVID-19 information were less likely to be vaccinated than CNN and MSNBC viewers , the audience of the networks did. do not differ in their general knowledge about the vaccine. There was also “no significant difference in acceptance of vaccine conspiracy beliefs between Fox News and CNN/MSNBC viewers,” the study found, based on a survey conducted in June 2020.

The Fox News spokesperson also noted that Fox host Neil Cavuto recently urged viewers to take their photos after he contracted COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.

MarketWatch publisher Dow Jones is a division of News Corp NWSA,
-0.97%,
who shares ownership with Fox News mother Fox Corp. FOXA,
+0.37%.

Keywords (November 2019): Media bias is real, Politico founding editor admits — it’s just not what you’d think it to be

COVID-19 myths

The most common myth about COVID-19 among respondents to the KFF survey was that the government is exaggerating the number of deaths from the pandemic because it counted deaths from other causes as COVID-19 deaths.

KFF also asked people if they believed the following falsehoods: Pregnant women should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine; deaths from the COVID-19 vaccine are intentionally hidden by the government; the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility; ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19; you can get COVID-19 from the vaccine; COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip; and COVID-19 vaccines can alter your DNA.

Parents are divided over vaccines for children

The KFF findings come because an estimated 58.4% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 16% of U.S. adults say they definitely won’t be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a separate survey from KFF.

Parents are divided on whether they will have their children vaccinated, about a third say they will do it ASAP, another third say they have no intention of ever having their children vaccinated and a third are taking a “wait and see”. ” approach, according to a separate KFF survey.

That investigation was conducted in October, before the FDA and CDC approved the Pfizer PFE,
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and BioNTech BNTX,
+3.99%

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vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds.