Impact of COVID-19 on the Media System. Communicative and Democratic Consequences of News Consumption during the Outbreak
Casero-Ripollés, Andreu (2020). “Impact of Covid-19 on the media system. Communicative and democratic consequences of news consumption during the outbreak”. El profesional de la información, v. 29, n. 2, e290223. https://doi.org/10.3145/epi.2020.mar.23
11 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020
Date Written: April 24, 2020
COVID-19 is a phenomenon of enormous magnitude and relevance. Its impact has affected various social domains, including the media and journalism. Since the beginning of this health crisis, the news has become a valuable resource for citizens. Studying the dynamics of information consumption is highly relevant both for its ability to transform the media system and for its incidence in democracy. The objective of this research is to analyse the influence of the Coronavirus on news consumption, the credibility given by citizens to the media as well as their ability to detect fake news. To answer these questions, we have conducted an exploratory analysis based on the secondary data from the online surveys of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel in the United States, comparing data before and after the outbreak. The results confirm the impact of COVID-19 on the media system. The findings suggest the emergence of important developments such as the resurgence of the role of legacy media, especially television, and the fact that citizens who usually remain far from the information have reconnected with the news. Therefore, the existing inequalities regarding news consumption among citizens have been reduced, in part. This generates potential benefits for democracy in terms of equality and accessibility concerning public affairs.
Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, media system, news consumption, social media, legacy media, political communication, fake news, credibility, democracy, journalism
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