Throughout the pandemic, media coverage has played an important role in drawing attention to specific messages, influencing public risk perceptions and fear responses. Mainstream media and other electronic communication systems such as Facebook and WhatsApp have been pivotal in getting pandemic information out to the public, thereby influencing their beliefs, attitudes and behaviour and engaging them generally in the pandemic as stakeholders. In this timely volume, author Barrie Gunter considers how people reacted to this coverage and its contribution to their understanding of what was going on, including the influence of fake news and misinformation on public beliefs about the pandemic, from anti-lockdown protests to the “anti-vaxx” movement. In addition, looking at how government messaging was not always consistent or clear and how different authorities were found not always to be in harmony or compliance with the messages they put out, Gunter examines the harm done by presenting different publics with ambiguous or conflicting narratives.
Drawing out important communications strategy lessons to be learned for the future, this is essential reading for students and researchers in psychology, public health and medical sciences and for policymakers who assess government strategies, responses and performance.
About the Author
Barrie Gunter is an Emeritus Professor in Media at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. A psychologist by training, he has published more than 80 books on a range of media, marketing, business, leisure and psychology topics.
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