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25% of news items in regional online media deal with coronavirus - IMI research

01.04.2020, 15:50

Every fourth news item in regional online media addresses the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, 4% of coronavirus news contain manipulative headlines or emotions and evaluative judgments. These are the results of a survey of the NGO "Institute of Mass Information" held in 10 regions of Ukraine last March *.

According to the monitoring results, the most news about the pandemic and coronavirus was published in Kharkiv online media (34% of the total news in the region), Donetsk (31%) and Lviv (30%). The least of such news was published in the online media of Odessa and Kherson (15% each).

At the same time, 4% of pandemic news and COVID-19 coronavirus had manipulative information. Thus, 1% of news headlines did not match the news text. Most of such news was published in the online media of Lviv (1.5% of the total news about coronavirus in the region), Volyn and Poltava (1.3% for each). Evaluative judgments in the news about the pandemic and COVID-19 were indentidfied in 3% of the news. Most of such news were published by Dnipro online media (5.8% of the total news about the coronavirus in the region), Donetsk (4%), Kharkiv and Lviv (3.3% each).

As for the sources of information, according to the research, the most frequently the journalists used other (Ukrainian and regional) mass media outlets (26% of the total number of sources in the news about the coronavirus), officials (15%), the press service (12%). Official authorities’ websites accounted for 11% of sources used in news about coronavirus, journalists' own work did 10%, social networks / messengers did 8%, while official or social media sites were additionally used in 6% of pandemic and COVID coronavirus news :19. Also, foreign media accounted for 7%, other sources : 2% of the total number of sources used in news about coronavirus.

News, which generally failed citing any source of information, was of 2%. The majority of non-sourced publications were recorded in the newslines of Dnipro online media (5% of total coronavirus news sources).

Most of the news reprinted from other national and regional media were recorded in Volyn online media (58.5%). Most of the news with officials was published in the Poltava online media (39.6%), press releases were revealed in the Kharkiv online media (23%), reprints from official governmental websites were found in the Poltava online media (20 , 8%). At the same time, Cherkasy (28.7%) published its own news production most often, while social media / messengers were most frequently recorded in Dnipro online media (15.5% of the total news sources in the region).

* 8202 news, 2058 coronavirus news items and 2260 sources of information from 50 regional online media in 10 regions of Ukraine (Volyn, Dnipro, Donetsk (Mariupol), Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kherson, Cherkasy were processed within the study). Only news from the newslines of Internet media got to the monitoring: articles, journalistic investigations, analytics, blogs, copyright columns, announcements, etc. have not been analyzed.

The monitoring methodology covered the analysis of the number of pandemic and COVID-19 coronavirus news, types of news sources in coronavirus news, as well as manipulation (mismatch of headline and news text, as well as the presence of emotions / evaluative judgments) in coronavirus news that were published in the feed selected online media from March 9 to March 13, 2020. In general, during the analyzed period the following sources of information were researched: own information, social networks / messengers, social networks / official pages of institutions / officials, official sites, officials, other (all-Ukrainian / regional) mass media, foreign mass media, press service, without sources, other .

Monitoring was carried out in the following media:

VOLYN (Volynski Novyny, VolynPost, Volyn24,, Pershy), DNIPRO (,,,,, DONETSK ( MARIOPOL ) (, "Donbass News", "Karachun" (Slavyansk), "Vostochny Variant", MRPL.CITY), LVIV (ZIK, "Zakhid.Net" "," Vholos "," VARTA1 "," Tvoye Misto"), MYKOLAYV ("Prestupnosti net "," Moy gorod"," Novosti-N "," Inshe.TV ", 0512), ODESSA (" Dumska ", 048, "Odeskaya zhyzn", "USI.Odessa", Odessa online), POLTAVA ("Poltava region",, OKIA Novyny Poltavshyny,, "Zmist"), KHARKIV (ATN, Status Quo, "Gorod Kh ", KHARKIV Today,, KHERSON (" HersonONline "" Lyubymiy Kherson "," Khersonshcnyna za den "," Kherson "), CHERKASY ("Vyshcerpno", 18000,  “Procherk"," Provse ").

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