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69% of "lockdown" news in regional media related to lockdown easing : IMI research

12.06.2020, 22:28

The number of news items on lockdown easing in online media accounted for 69% of the total number of lockdown news. According to IMI experts, such a quantity of news about the termination of lockdown can make the audience believe in safety and slowing down of virus spread, which is not true. Most of these news items were published by online media in Odessa (82% of the total number of lockdown news), Volyn (80%) and Lviv (75%), and the least came out in online media in Donetsk (57%) and Poltava (48%).

These are the results of a research made by the NGO "Institute of Mass Information", which was conducted in 10 regions of Ukraine in May this year. *

At the same time, the number of news about the coronavirus, compared to April, decreased significantly - from 45% to 31% of the total number of news in the regional online media. Most news about the COVID-19 pandemic and coronavirus in May was published in the online media of Donetsk, Dnipro (43% of the total news in the region) and Cherkasy (40%). The least such news was published in the online media of Kherson (21%) and Odessa (18%).

Ukrainian politicians and local / regional authorities are the most frequent speakers in lockdown news (61% of the total number of lockdown news speakers). However, the majority of such items, 84%, had a neutral connotation.

According to the monitoring results, Ukrainian politicians accounted for 37% of the total number of speakers in the lockdown news, local and regional authorities accounted for 25%, businessmen accounted for 8% of speakers. Health workers were quoted in 6% of news, regional politicians were in 3%, and local public figures were in 2% of lockdown news items. Other non-core speakers accounted for 18% of the total number of speakers in lockdown news. 

The tone of the speakers' announcements about quarantine easing was mostly neutral. Thus, during the monitoring period, there were 84% of neutral statements from speakers, 10% of positive statements and 6% of negative statements of speakers on quarantine. The most neutral statements / comments in the news about quarantine were made by Ukrainian politicians (96% of the total number of statements of this group), local public figures most often commented negatively the quarantine (36%), the most positive comments / statements about quarantine came from regional politicians (19%). 

Also, the most neutral statements of the speakers were published in the online media of Kharkiv (100%), Kherson (97%) and Volyn (95%). Most often positive comments about the quarantine were published by the online media of Odessa, Poltava (16% each) and Dnipro (12% of the total number of speakers in the news about the quarantine), there were no positive quotations in the online media of Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Cherkasy. Most statements / comments of speakers with negative connotations were published by Lviv online media (24% of the total number of speakers in quarantine news), Donetsk, Mykolayiv (13% each) and Cherkasy (11%), there were no negative statements in news about easing of lockdown in the online media of Odessa, Kharkiv and Kherson.

At the same time, 28% of news about the lockdown ease had no quotations of experts at all. Most of such news was published in Dnipro (47%), Lviv (32%) and Donetsk online media (31%).

* The study analyzed 8666 news items, including 2705 news about coronavirus, 1211 news about lockdown, 835 news about easing of lockdown and 667 speakers from 50 regional online media in 10 regions of Ukraine (Volyn, Dnipro, Donetsk), Lviv, Mykolayiv, Odessa, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kherson, Cherkasy). The monitoring included only news from the online media news feed: articles, journalistic investigations, analytics, blogs, author's columns, announcements, etc. were not analyzed. 

The monitoring methodology included analysis of the number of news about the pandemic and coronavirus COVID-19, lockdown and easing of lockdown, types of speakers in lockdown news, as well as the tone of speakers' statements in lockdown news, which were published in selected online media feeds from 11 to 15 May 2020. In general, the following categories of speakers were studied during the analyzed period: representatives of local / regional authorities, Ukrainian politicians, regional politicians, local activists (public activists, volunteers), medical workers, businessmen, religious figures, etc. (journalists, foreign speakers, law enforcement officers, ordinary citizens, etc. ).

Monitoring covered the following media:

VOLYN (Volynski Novyny, VolynPost, Volyn24, Rayon.in.ua, Konkurent), DNIPRO (Vidkryty, Nashe misto, Dniprovskaya panorama, Informator, gorod.dp.ua), DONETSK (MARIUPOL) (0629, Novyny Donbasu, Karachun(Slovyansk), Ostrov, MRPL.CITY), LVIV (Lvivsky portal, Zahid.net, Vholos, Varta1, Tvoye misto), MYKOLAIV (Prestupnosty.NET, Moy gorod, Novosti-N, Inshe.TV, 0512) ODESSA ( Dumska, 048, Odesskaya Zhyzn, USI Odessa, Odessa online), POLTAVA (Poltavshchyna, poltavske.tv, OKIA Novyny Poltavshchyny, 0532.ua, Zmist), KHARKIV (ATN, Status Quo, Horod X, KHARKIV Today, 057.ua ), KHERSON (KhersonOnline, 0552, Lyubimyy Kherson, Khersonshchyna za den, Kherson residents ), CHERKASY (Vycherpno, 18000, Procherk, Zmi.ck.ua, Provse).

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