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BRIEF RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 217-220

COVID-19 epidemiology: Through the eyes of vernacular newspapers


1 MPH Student, Department of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Additional Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Girish N Rao
Professor of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, Room 215, 2nd Floor, Dr. M. V. Govindaswamy Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_485_20

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Media plays an indispensable role in society to influence health literacy. To document COVID-19 coverage in Kannada daily newspapers, hardcopies of 455 editions were methodically reviewed. Content analysis and data coding of 11 of the possible 60 terms/concepts related to COVID-19 epidemiology, was undertaken. Across dailies, five different dimensions in reporting documented: reporting of statistics – both numbers and manner of reporting, reporting of epidemiological concepts/terms (frequency of use and frequency of reporting), focus of reporting, density of reporting and finally what is not reported which could have been reported (desirable reporting). Numbers were reported as headlines; >25% of listed items were covered; however, 20% of terms not covered would have helped. We looked at “News” as epidemiological information and identified the gaps in reporting. We conclude that vernacular print media in Karnataka has done a commendable job. A media communication plan is urgently needed.


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