Friday, June 15, 2007

Bad News Sells

In the gas price chart above (click to enlarge), the most recent 6-week period (May 1 - June 15) shows about a 24 cent increase in gas prices from $3.00 per gallon to $3.24 during the first 3-week period (May 1 - 22), and about a 24 cent decrease in prices during the second 3-week period (May 22 - June 15) from $3.24 to $3.00.

A Google News searchs reveals the following results:

May 1 to 22, for the term "rising gas prices": 10,639

May 22 to June 15, for the term "falling gas prices": 3,349

Conclusion: Rising gas prices get more than 3X the news coverage as falling gas prices, even when the price increase is the same as the price decrease (24 cents in this case), over the same period of time (3 weeks in this case).

It's probably also the case that when it comes to the economy, bad economic news always gets more press coverage than positive economic news, which leads to the general public falsely thinking economic conditions are worse than they actually are.


At 6/15/2007 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at "rising gas prices" in the May 22nd-June 15th range as well. Even though gas prices fell considerably, it didn't seem to affect the hype at all.


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