Media coronavirus coverage relatively good, says study 

On some days Swiss media content was 70% about coronavirus, says a study on the first half of 2020. Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

Swiss media have covered the coronavirus pandemic relatively well, but many media were "insufficiently critical" in the pre-lockdown phase, says a new study by the University of Zurich. 

This content was published on July 29, 2020 - 12:23

On some days, up to 70% of media content concerned coronavirus, says the report by the university’s Research Centre for the Public Sphere and Society (Fög Institute). This compares with “barely 10%” on the climate debate in election year 2019, even though climate was a top theme of the polls. Rarely does a topic receive such intense coverage, say the authors. 

This report looks at media coverage across Switzerland in the first half of 2020. 

Media as a whole "maintain a critical distance from government and authorities", the authors found. However, in the pre-lockdown  phase when drastic measures were decided, many media were “not critical enough”. 

The study notes that media coverage of the pandemic covered a wide range of topics, including medicine, politics and economics. Media often called in experts, especially virologists, epidemiologists and immunologists. 

"Disciplines such as sociology, psychology and political science were strongly under-represented," says Fög Institute director Mark Eisenegger. This was also the case for women: out of the 30 most frequently interviewed experts, only two were women. 

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