Coronavirus is dominating the global news flow in a way no story has in at least two decades.
In the past week, the Bloomberg terminal carried 100,000 articles a day about the virus. (Note: counts include thousands of sources in dozens of languages, not just Bloomberg News.)
That is about ten times the normal flow for news about Trump, (the most written-about topic or person) who garners about 10,000 stories a day.
The surprising and unfortunate reality however is that media focus didn’t keep pace with the initial growth of cases.
There were two periods where attention was diverted.
The attached chart, created using a selection from the 150,000 news sources on Bloomberg, shows that after a surge in January, the volume of articles flatlined for two weeks in early February.
That was about the same time as the Iowa Caucus. U.S. media may have turned their attention to the election.
There was a similar pause in early March.
During both those periods the number of confirmed cases and deaths continued to surge in China, Iran, Italy and Spain.