Covid-19 and the Coronavirus has been dominating the media narrative around the world since the World Health Organisation announced the pandemic earlier this year. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) has been monitoring and analysing the media coverage of the Covid-19 in South Africa. The purpose of the activity is to determine trends in coverage. MMA’s vision is a responsible and quality media that enables an engaged and informed citizenry and has been monitoring and analysing the media since 1993. The analysis of the Covid-19 is one of the latest activities being undertaken by the organisation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has, since the first case was reported in South Africa in March 2020, grabbed the attention of the media. Stories ranging from mere announcements of new cases and the rate of infection and/or deaths, to impact of the pandemic on the economy and households, have featured in the media. We know that whoever holds power in the media, shapes narrative and opinion of public discourse and because of this, it is important to examine who exactly holds this power. It is for this reason that the short analysis looks at who is speaking, their gender and race representation and, affiliation.
“Media are an essential service, and have been doing an incredible job in this crisis. What trends in coverage have emerged, who has the louder voice in the news on the crisis and how has it been covered?” MMA Director, William Bird, speaking about some of the questions the Covid-19 analysis will answer.
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