The media has played a huge role during the pandemic, keeping people informed of what is happening daily.
In some circumstances though this coverage is not always deemed positive, with misleading information causing scaremongering and raised concerns over the impact of people’s media consumption. Worryingly, elsewhere in the world, the media is being used to create far more devastating consequences.
A team of researchers from Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture are investigating how citizens in four European countries are using the media to keep up to date with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading the project is Professor Sabina Mihelj and Dr Václav Štětka, who along with their team, are investigating audience responses to news coverage of COVID-19 in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia, and say disinformation is spreading fast and media freedom is under strain.
The study is set to provide unprecedented, in-depth insights into the role of the media in shaping citizens’ responses to a public health emergency, while also showing how such an emergency can be manipulated to force citizens into accepting severe and long-lasting restrictions on their democratic rights.
The results so far have shown that many of the countries included in the study have used the pandemic as “an excuse for curtailing democratic rights and imposing far-reaching limitations on the freedom of speech, far beyond any measures seen in the West”.
Content retrieved from: https://volume.lboro.ac.uk/tackling-a-pandemic/.