Study: Weather might impact tone of Olympics coverage

Whether it rains or shines might actually have an impact on how journalists cover the Olympics, according to researchers at Penn State.

Using coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as a basis, the researchers examined how air pollution and weather -- by producing cloudy conditions as opposed to sunlight -- might have impacted coverage of those Games. They examined four major U.S. newspapers and found that as air pollution increased and temperatures rose, journalists were more likely to use negative words in stories about the host country and about competitors from China and the United States when reporting.

Because London is know for its cloudiness and rain, researchers think the tone of coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London could be impacted if grey and misty conditions exit. If so, reporters might focus more on what is wrong with the Games. But if the weather is ideal, reporters are more likely to give the Olympics a higher grade, if the research from Beijing holds true.

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