Accuracy in Media

CNN cited an incomplete study in an attempt to prove that Black Lives Matter protests have not led to a spike in coronavirus cases across the country.

The cable news network headlined its take on the study, “Black Lives Matter protests have not led to a spike in coronavirus cases, research says.” The article suggested that the study was completed and finalized because it was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. CNN claimed that the NBER study found there was “no evidence that coronavirus cases grew in the weeks following the beginning of the protests.”

But CNN buried the study’s acknowledgment that it was possible that protests could increase the spread of the coronavirus. In the fifth paragraph, CNN wrote, “It’s still possible that protests may have caused an increase in the spread of the virus among those who attended protests, according to the report.”

Essentially, CNN debunked its own narrative in its article.

Additionally, the cable news network ignored how the study has not been peer-reviewed and that it is a working paper, which is far from a finalized academic study. Typically, academic studies go through a peer-review process, where other academics try to replicate the study’s data and findings. If the study’s data and findings passed muster, then the study moves past the working paper stage to become a verified academic study.

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