What is it about?

This article explores how mainstream print media covered the COVID-19 pandemic during this time of crisis. The news media play a key role in keeping the public informed during such health crises and potentially shape citizens’ perceptions of the pandemic.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

The ways in which the media report on a national and global health emergency could have implications for how society responds to big challenges and threats. We raise questions about the roles and responsibilities of South African newspapers in how they use their front pages to frame key issues, especially during times of crisis.


Although our study was limited in its focus on front pages of newspapers, the findings nevertheless suggest a tendency to use alarmism and sensationalism to attract reader interest, without providing health information or offering solutions to mitigate their concerns. Trust levels in news media had been on the decline globally before the pandemic broke out. But they rebounded as people sought reliable information from trusted news outlets.

Dr Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam
Rhodes University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: South African newspaper coverage of COVID-19: A content analysis, Journal of African Media Studies, September 2021, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/jams_00052_1.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page