Covid-19: The first 100 days of U.S. news coverage


Read the series at Project Information Literacy


September 15, 2020


In this publication series through Project Information Literacy, Steven (PIL Senior Fellow in Information Design) was responsible for conducting statistical and data analysis, engineering interactive data visualizations, and designing the layout for the series as a whole.

Preferred citation format: Alison J. Head, Steven Braun, Margy MacMillan, Jessica Yurkofsky, and Alaina C. Bull, September 15, 2020, Covid-19: The first 100 days of U.S. news coverage: Lessons about the media ecosystem for librarians, educators, students, and journalists, Project Information Literacy Research Institute,

In this series, Project Information Literacy (PIL) explores U.S. media coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak during the first 100 days of 2020. In the first report, PIL examines the shape and flow of the coronavirus story across time and digital spaces by using a large sample of stories from a range of news sources; in the second, PIL analyzes how a sample of photos from 12 news outlets visually represented the story. The purpose of this special series is to examine how mainstream, widely-read news outlets responded to a rapidly changing story as it exploded into the largest global health crisis in a century. PIL presents empirical findings for examining how news stories and visuals shape our understanding of the world, and how media messages – the written word and visual storytelling – influence what we see and learn, what we think, and who we are. Ultimately, this series is about reclaiming information agency: The ability to exert some control over the torrent of news about Covid-19 in order to remain critically informed at a time when one’s life may depend on it.