Declining coverage of — and engagement with — COVID

The Chartbeat team looked at the number of global articles published about the COVID pandemic in 2021 and the average time readers spent with those articles, to see how vaccine rollouts and lifted restrictions are affecting consumption of this ongoing content. 

What we uncovered

Between January 31 and May 1 of this year, the total number of global COVID articles dropped by 63% and held steady at that lower level. At the same time, Average Engaged Time on COVID articles declined by more than 93% — indicating that there was not just less content to read, but that readers ultimately are spending significantly less time reading about the topic.  

What the data tells us

Have readers “moved on” from COVID coverage? It’s difficult to answer conclusively, but it is clear that both supply and demand have declined rapidly in recent months despite new variants and widespread global outbreaks.


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