Doctoral student Alex T. Williams conducted an in-depth analysis of the news coverage of the story out of Baltimore, MD after the death of Freddie Gray, attempting to discern whether or not the peaceful protests that took place in Baltimore after Gray’s death - and before violent protests erupted - were overlooked by the news media.
Williams writes about his analysis, looking at the number of stories, hashtags on Twitter, cable television news ratings and more, in The Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog.
According to Williams, “Did this coverage only reflect the interests of viewers? According to the Nielsen ratings, on the night of the violent protests on April 28 the ratings of all three channels surged in the key news demo of adults ages 25 to 54. Compared with the previous Monday, CNN experienced a 574 percent increase, Fox News a 121 percent increase and MSNBC a 77 percent increase … At least in the case of cable news, if Americans wanted coverage to focus on peaceful protests and not incidents of violence, we did a poor job of showing it.”