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International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics ; 111(3):E169-E170, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1529423
Tripodos ; - (47):27-47, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1107142


Community structure analysis (Pollock, 2007, 2013a, 2015) compared city characteristics and newspaper coverage of federal/Trump administration coronavirus responses in 18 major US cities, sampling all 250+ word articles from 01/28/20 to 04/03/20. The resulting 123 articles were coded for "prominence" and "direction" (favorable/unfavorable/balanced-neutral coverage), then combined into each newspaper's composite "Media Vector" (range= 0.3850 to -0.6433, or 1.033). Fifteen of 18 newspapers (83%) displayed negative coverage of federal COVID-19 responses. Pearson correlations and regression analysis confirmed a robust "violated buffer" pattern (higher proportions of economically/socially "buffered" privileged groups are associated with negative coverage of "biological threats or threats to a cherished way of life": Pollock, 2007: 101), manifest in polit-ical and religious polarization and links between health access or generational privilege and negative coverage of federal COVID-19 actions. Higher proportions voting Democratic or Catholic membership in cities were associated strongly with negative coverage of federal efforts, while voting Republican and Evangelical membership accompanied positive federal coverage, evoking nationwide partisan "tribalism". Privileged healthcare access (physicians/100,000, municipal healthcare spending) and economically "privileged" age groups 45-64 and 65+ were all connected to negative coverage of federal COVID-19 responses, illuminating overall "violated" expectations that the national government is responsible for nationwide disaster protection.