Americans who want a substantive look at riot deaths in addition to George Floyd coverage won’t be able to find it on the major broadcast networks.
The media watchdog NewsBusters analyzed “all coverage of mass protests and civil unrest on ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning, the CBS Evening News, NBC’s Today, NBC’s Sunday Today and the NBC Nightly News between May 28 and June 3” and found an overwhelming absence of riot death mentions.
Writer Bill D’Agostino’s study found 99.3% of the networks’ coverage failed to report on at least ten individuals killed in the riots over the past week — “including at least three unarmed African-Americans.”
“Television journalists have made no secret of their support for the nationwide protests over the past week,” Mr. D’Agostino wrote for the nonprofit organization on Thursday. “But perhaps because of that support, they’ve been reluctant to discuss the deaths that have taken place across the country as protests devolved into riots.”
A glimpse of the group’s study includes:
- “CBS spent just a single minute (61 seconds) on individuals killed during the riots.”
- “ABC gave the victims 91 seconds, or 0.76 percent of their total 200 minutes spent on the demonstrations.”
- “On NBC, the victims received just over two minutes, or 0.7% of the network’s 309 minutes of protest-related programming.”
Protests and riots across the U.S. have raged since Mr. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from Minneapolis, died during an arrest made by former Police Officer Derek Chauvin and colleagues J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
Mr. Chauvin’s subsequent arrest includes charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter; the others face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.