Show an ad over header. AMP

How COVID changed media consumption in America

The COVID-19 crisis put the news cycle on overdrive and propelled a massive shift to digital media — forcing consumers to sort through more news and information than ever before.

Why it matters: In an attempt to navigate that influx, Americans leaned deeper into partisan echo chambers, further polarizing the nation.


Details: The gap between Democrats' and Republicans' trust in mass media reached an all-time high by the end of 2020, and their media diets continued to diverge.

The big picture: The shift to virtual life, and a major decline of trust in media, wreaked havoc on the health of America's information ecosystem.

  • A majority of Americans last year said said they saw made-up news about the pandemic and the election.
  • An analysis from NewsGuard, provided to Axios, found that unreliable news websites significantly increased their share of engagement among the top performing news sources on social media last year.

Be smart: For Americans looking to escape the headlines, entertainment content became easier to access at home than ever before, thanks for heavy investments in streaming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

  • Several new streaming services launched in the past year, including HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, and Discovery+. Subscription video streaming increased by 33.9% from 2019 to 2020, per eMarketer.
  • With theaters mostly shut, consumers for the first time were able to experience an array of new movies from the convenience of their homes.
  • Lockdowns nudged more Americans to invest in internet-connected devices like smart speakers, which helped to contribute to a massive audio boom throughout the pandemic — especially for podcasts.
  • The lack of live sports pushed more media companies to invest in content around sports betting, as the practice became legalized in many more states.

What's next: Many of these habits will be hard to undo. Screen time for kids and adults has consistently increased over the past year, despite easing COVID restrictions. Evidence disputing major conspiracy theories hasn't helped to break filter bubbles. And the traditional 90-day window between theatrical and streaming releases is unlikely to return.

Corporate America begins to see fallout after wading into politics

Corporate America is finding it can get messy when it steps into politics.

Why it matters: Urged on by shareholders, employees and its own company creeds, Big Business is taking increasing stands on controversial political issues during recent months — and now it's beginning to see the fallout.

Keep reading... Show less

Church shelters call out U.S. for expelling migrants when they have capacity

Despite the separation between church and state, the federal government depends upon religious shelters to help it cope with migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The network supports the U.S. in times of crisis, but now some shelter leaders are complaining about expelling families to Mexico when they have capacity — and feel a higher calling — to accommodate them.

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd is the rare officer conviction

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was shown kneeling on George Floyd's neck last year in a video that shook the nation, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Eight years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officersto face legal consequences or jail time over the deaths of Black people.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Lisa Monaco as Justice Department's deputy attorney general

The Senate voted 98-2 on Tuesday to confirm Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, making her the agency's second highest-ranking official.

Why it matters: Monaco is expected to play a key role in Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to crack down on violence from domestic extremist groups, including the department's sweeping investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis reflects on Chauvin verdict as a step toward healing and calm

A growing crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center broke out into cheers, hugs and tears of relief as word of the Derek Chauvin verdict spread just after 4pm CST.

Catch up quick: Eleven months after George Floyd died under the former Minneapolis police officer's knee, a jury of 12 neighbors returned a guilty verdict on all three counts.

Keep reading... Show less

"Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family": Nation reacts to Chauvin verdict

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guiltyverdict after about 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying...

Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer: "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin found guilty of all 3 charges in George Floyd's death

A jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death.

Why it matters: This rare conviction of a police officer may come to be seen as a defining moment in America's collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Super League in super trouble

The European Super League is on the brink before it even manages to launch.

The state of play: Two key English teams — Chelsea and Manchester City — are reportedly preparing to exit just two days after the league announced its formation, ESPN notes.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories