2014 was a year of eye-popping media numbers, from millions of dollars' worth of coverage devoted to a trumped-up scandal to mere seconds devoted to historic news. Here are some of the most important -- and most surprising -- figures from the year.
0: The Number Of Top Female Editors At The Ten Largest Papers. After former Executive Editor Jill Abramson was ousted from The New York Times in May, none of the ten largest papers in the United States were helmed by a woman. Only two of the top 25 circulation daily papers in the U.S. -- as listed by the Alliance for Audited Media -- had women as their top editors. [Media Matters, 5/16/14]
1/3: The Amount Of Coverage CNN Gave A Historic Climate Summit And Demonstration, Compared To MSNBC. In September, the historic United Nations' Climate Summit and People's Climate March got three times more coverage on MSNBC than they did on CNN. Even Fox News aired over twice as much coverage of the events compared to CNN -- though much of its coverage mocked or dismissed the events, which were aimed at catalyzing action against climate change. [Media Matters, 9/30/14]
124,000,000: The Dollar Value Of Fox News' Benghazi Coverage Over One Two-Week Period. Fox News' coverage went into overdrive following House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) May 2 announcement that Republicans would form a select committee to further investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. A Media Matters study found that the publicity values of Fox's weekday coverage in the two weeks following the announcement were valued at more than $124 million dollars, a significant public relations boon for the GOP. [Media Matters, 6/3/14]
16: The Number Of Minutes Fox News Devoted To A Benghazi Select Committee Hearing, After Investing Years To Creating The Committee. Fox News spent only 16 minutes on the second hearing of the Benghazi Select Committee in December. Fox had spent the previous two years devoting significantly more coverage -- over 1000 segments -- to the terrorist attacks, and their coverage was a key driver for the committee's formation in 2014, a fact which network contributors bragged about at the time. [Media Matters, 12/10/14]
975: The Number Of Segments On Ebola Aired Before The Midterm Election. The major broadcast and cable networks ran nearly 1000 evening news segments about the Ebola virus in the four weeks leading up to the midterm elections in November, tracking the diagnosis of a handful of U.S. patients. This fed into Republicans' election strategy, which capitalized off of the misinformation and fear spread about the disease. [Media Matters, 11/19/14]
49: The Number Of Segments On Ebola Aired After The Midterm Election. Once the election was over, Ebola coverage dropped dramatically. The networks only aired 49 segments in the two weeks after November 4. After filling the airwaves with fearmongering, the media failed to provide similar coverage of the fact that the government and health system had worked, and there was no widespread outbreak. [Media Matters, 11/19/14]
3: The Percentage Of Economists Who Appeared On Segments About The Economy. Only three percent of guests who discussed the economy on evening cable and broadcast news in the first half of 2014 were economists. The vast majority were instead journalists or political guests. [Media Matters, 7/8/14]
2: The Number Of Cable News Stories On HIV/AIDS In The First Quarter Of 2014. Despite major developments in prevention, treatment, and research of HIV/AIDS, cable evening news ran only two segments in total on the topic in the first quarter of 2014. They aired on MSNBC and CNN; Fox had yet to run a single segment when Media Matters analyzed the data. [Media Matters, 4/22/14]
60,000: The Percentage Fox News Over-Inflated A Climate Activist's Campaign Spending. Climate activist Tom Steyer spent about $73 million in the 2014 election opposing Keystone XL pipeline construction. Fox over-inflated this number to claim he had spent $42.9 billion -- about 60,000 percent more than the reality. Fox later issued a correction. [Media Matters, 10/30/14]
9: The Percentage Of Educators Hosted During Education Segments. Weekday cable evening news segments in 2014 that discussed domestic education policy hosted 185 guests in total through October -- only 16 of whom were educators, or nine percent. [Media Matters, 11/20/14]
Less Than 1: The Number Of Minutes Per Month On Average Each Major Broadcast Network Devoted To Covering Campaign Finance Reform. According to a Media Matters study, the major broadcast networks hardly covered big money in politics on their evening and weekend broadcasts. PBS News Hour devoted the most coverage to the topic with over an hour in total, but on average, each network devoted less than a single minute per month to talking about campaign finance reform, despite major Supreme Court cases and a proposed constitutional amendment. [Media Matters, 9/19/14]
13: The Number Of Posts Devoted To Hillary Clinton's Wealth In Just Two Months On A Washington Post Blog. Over two months in the summer of 2014, political reporter Chris Cillizza's Washington Post blog The Fix obsessed over Hillary Clinton's wealth and the perception that she had struggled to explain it, publishing at least 13 separate blog posts on the topic. [Media Matters, 7/30/14]
30: The Number Of Seconds Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows Devoted To Net Neutrality In The Week After A Major Presidential Announcement. Sunday morning political talk shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox devoted a total of just 30 seconds of coverage to internet freedom in the week after a major presidential announcement on the topic. Only NBC's Meet the Press and CBS' Face The Nation mentioned the president's call to protect internet freedom for all users. [Media Matters, 11/17/14]
Graphics by Oliver Willis.