March 11, 2021

How did we get here? A framing and source analysis of early COVID-19 media coverage

A Hubner

Communication Research Reports


This study examines how two major news outlets framed COVID-19 in the months leading up to COVID-19 being declared a pandemic. A combination of computational and manual coding found that the dominant media frames were outbreak, economic consequences, and social consequences. A secondary component of the analysis examined the sources quoted in early media coverage and found that citizens, interest group individuals, and politicians were quoted the most. This suggests that early news coverage of COVID-19 might have contributed to the current politicization of the virus in the United States.

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