Just a couple of years ago finding a Bitcoin or crypto related news article in the mainstream media would have been a tough task. Today nearly every news outlet worth its salt is regularly running stories on crypto. According to a new study a lot of the industry heavyweights are throwing around a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt, much of which is totally unfounded and superfluous.
Media Sentiment is Not Static
A new study by eSports company Clovr has revealed the ‘complicated and conflictual relationship’ between cryptocurrencies and publications that cover them. Following the rise and fall of the market over the past couple of years the study attempts to ascertain which publications have pushed a positive sentiment and which ones are fueled by FUD.
Looking back at 2017 the research noted that crypto coverage was rather limited and only peaked when prices plunged following bad news such as China’s trading and exchange ban. The year before, positive sentiment far outweighed negative, a ratio that changed in late 2017 when markets started to surge.
FUD was partly fueled by billionaires that had already made their money and possibly considered cryptocurrency a threat. The likes of Warren Buffett calling it ‘rat poison’, or Mark Cuban hammering away with his bubble comments, or Jamie Dimon calling it a fraud, added gasoline to the mainstream media fire.
As markets peaked and then fell in January 2018, mainstream media ramped up its FUD machine and more negative sentiment flooded out. According the study, the top purveyors of ‘bad news’ at the time included the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, the International Business Times, and the Washington Post.
Media that appeals to a younger, more finance orientated audience unsurprisingly ran more positive articles on crypto, these included Forbes, Business Insider, CNN, Cnet, Mashable, and Huffpost. CNBC, whose tweets have found to have an effect, has been pretty much ‘fair and balanced’ with a good dose of each and today still dedicates a lot of its airtime to crypto which is itself a testament to the growing industry.
Conservative media outlets have shown an overwhelming amount of distain for crypto and these include Breitbart, Fox News, and the Economist. All of which has run predominantly FUD based articles over the past few years. Publications with a more liberal skew have been pretty balanced, and finance or technology focused outlets more positive.
The report concluded that the coverage of Bitcoin and crypto has been far from static over the past five years. Some outlets have become more skeptical while others have become more bullish as crypto markets ebb and flow in cycles that they have already been through several times before.
The takeaway from the study is that most mainstream media publications have their own slant anyway so this will get pushed through in the articles they publish, be it FUD or FOMO. Just like social media, which can often be described as ‘digital pollution’, don’t take everything you read as gospel. Thorough research and not investing more than you can afford to lose are also worth bearing in mind when getting into crypto.