If you keep an eye on our updates, you may know very well how little Indian media understands about cryptocurrencies. It has been several times when leading media outlets of the country have published misleading reports about crypto and we’ve come out with detailed posts explaining how things were put out of proportion. Interestingly, the same story plays out in other countries as well. A recent research conducted on the quality of journalism about cryptocurrencies has found that mainstream media has an anti-Bitcoin bias.
Yep. A blockchain research company called Clovr conducted a survey on 7,527 cryptocurrency-related articles published between January 1, 2013 and July 31, 2018. An algorithm was used to assess the mood and sentiment expressed in each of those articles, and the frequency of articles was also analyzed against different cycles in the life of cryptocurrency. What researchers found was something not entirely surprising to people like us, but shocking to those who consume most of their news info from mainstream media alone. Given below are the major findings of that survey:
- The very first finding is that media didn’t pay much attention to cryptocurrencies until they started climbing in value. The number of articles published before the rise in Bitcoin price was minuscule.
- However, what media liked the most were crashes. When mainstream media finally started covering stories about Bitcoin, the things they reported the most were declines. Even during the peak of Bitcoin price at 17,000 level most of the stories covered were about crashes in the price.
- Finally, the downturn that came a few months back started a press frenzy around BTC. The numbers of articles published shot up dramatically.
Longstanding mainstream outlets, some of which have become household names (i.e. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times etc.) were found to be particularly harsh in their coverage of cryptocurrencies. By comparison business news outlets catering to a younger audience (i.e. Forbes and Business Insider) were found to provide neutral coverage about cryptocurrencies. If compared historically against their political inclinations it turns out that outlets with bias towards right-wing conservative ideology were more negative in their coverage of crypto than the outlets with bias towards left-wing liberals.
Overtime some publishers also became less hostile in their coverage. But unfortunately, a disproportionately large number of publishers grew even more hostile of crypto as time passed. That includes Reuters, USA Today and Gizmodo.
And here comes the most interesting finding: financial outlets were more positive of crypto than tech publications! We’re back-stabbed by our own people only.
A similar story plays out consistently in India as well. As a result, we will suggest you to prefer cryptocurrency specific outlets for your dose of news about crypto instead of mainstream media. The decisions taken based on the reports of mainstream media may be suicidal.