Public Initial Response to Indonesian Government’s Handling and Communicating of COVID-19 Pandemic
1 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2021
Date Written: March 10, 2021
Uncertain situation during pandemic in its initial stage generated negative, positive, and neutral sentiments in online and social media. This research aimed to describe public initial response to Indonesian Government’s health crisis communication in handling COVID-19 Pandemic. This research utilized a big data analysis of data collected from March 2, 2020 to April 7, 2020. A total of 23,229 conversations were recorded consisting of 8,855 on the website, 1,584 on Facebook, 2,904 on Youtube, and 9,886 on Twitter. This analysis shows that in the first two weeks, the discussion about the Corona virus issue was not too massive albeit its negative tones. The third and fourth weeks of talk about Corona were much more pervasive with varied tones: positive, negative, and neutral. The coverage on the news website is much more positive than the responses on Facebook and YouTube, in which the latter held the most negative tones. The increasing number of responses on the website was triggered by the government’s announcement of a National Emergency situation on 30 March 2020. This illustrates that the public needed certainty of information from the government. When information and news were positive or full of optimism, positive responses sentiment would also occur on social media and on website news. This study concluded that public response toward the pandemic issue was previously done mostly on social media towards website platform with many trusted news portals. The topics and words changed from health topics to government policies against the Corona outbreak.
Keywords: Pandemic, public response, health crisis communication, conversation, online (social) media
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