In order to determine the trends in coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of sources in South African media, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is conducting bi-monthly monitoring and analysis activities. This is a series of reports and findings are compared against each other to show improvement, or the lack thereof.

Two analyses in the series have been published so far and findings from both revealed that the people speaking in coverage around Covid-19 were often the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize, the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and Bheki Cele who is the Minister of Police. This therefore shows that the majority of sources in coverage of Covid-19 in South African media are mostly black males affiliated to government, this at the expense of other affiliations such as scientists and other experts in the health sector etc.

This monitoring period for the third analysis being launched was between 3rd of May until the 17th of May, 2020, shows a slight improvement in terms of number of stories. Additionally other affiliations such as media practitioners have featured on the top 10 list of affiliations.

William Bird, Director at MMA spoke briefly about some of gaps in coverage of Covid-19 during the monitoring period.

“Our third brief offers important insight into ongoing trends in media coverage of the Covid-19 epidemic.  What is emerging is that while media are responding to pressing issues like the opening up of the economy and returning to school, there is little evidence of a deliberate and or ongoing focus on issues like gender based violence, food security and or malnutrition.  The Covid-19 crisis presents not just a threat to our democracy but an opportunity to reshape how we cover our society, and whose voices and stories we hear and tell,” says Bird.




This analysis can be accessed from MMA’s website ( as well as social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) on which it will be shared.

For enquiries, please contact Lister Namumba, the Monitoring, Research and Analysis Program Manager by sending an email to