Emotions in Crisis Coverage: How UK News Media Used Fear Appeals to Report on the Coronavirus Crisis
1.1. The Role of Emotions in and for Journalism
1.2. Fear Appeals: Adaptation for the Context of News
1.2.1. Defining the Threat Component in Crisis Coverage
1.2.2. Defining the Efficacy Component in Crisis Coverage
1.3. Prevalence of Fear Appeals in Coronavirus Coverage
1.3.1. Prevalence of the Threat Component
- RQ1: How prevalent are depictions of threats in coronavirus coverage?
- RQ2: How prevalent are depictions of severity, i.e., fear-inducing language, in coronavirus coverage?
- RQ3: How prevalent are depictions of susceptibility, i.e., national impacts and a personal angle, in coronavirus coverage?
1.3.2. Prevalence of the Efficacy Component
- RQ4: How prevalent were depictions of the efficacy component, i.e., individual and societal measures, in coronavirus coverage?
1.3.3. Differences between Tabloids and Quality Outlets
- RQ5: How does the prevalence of fear appeals in coronavirus coverage differ between tabloids and quality outlets?
1.3.4. Differences over Time
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. The Case: The UK during the First Wave of COVID-19
3.1. The Prevalence of Fear Appeals in Coronavirus Coverage
3.2. Differences between Tabloids and Quality Outlets
3.3. Differences over Time
4.1. Did Journalists Rely on Fear-Inducing Content When Covering COVID-19?
4.2. How Does Coverage of the Coronavirus Crisis Compare to Other Crises?
4.3. Perils and Pitfalls of Fear-Inducing Coverage in Crises
4.4. Limitations and the Road Ahead
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Threat Component||Efficacy Component|
|Individual Measures||Societal Measures|
|Category||Prevalence||Three Most Common Threats within Category|
|Health threats||50.9%||Infection (36.6%), Death (10.6%), Insufficient medical treatment (2.2%)|
|Economic threats||15.9%||Economic uncertainty (13.6%), Job loss (1.9%), Price spike (0.4%)|
|Political threats||15.7%||Restriction of public life (9.4%), Lack of political governance (5.6%), Rise of Chinese soft power (0.8%)|
|Other threats||8.6%||Other, openly coded threat (4.7%), Hoarding (1.9%), Racism (0.8%)|
|No threat identified||8.9%|
|Threat||90.3%||92%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 0.76, p = .38|
|Fear-ind. language (head.)||45.8%||31.5%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 22.04, p < .001 ***|
|Fear-ind. language (body)||58%||53%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 2.42, p = .12|
|National impacts||71%||68.1%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 0.88, p = .35|
|Personal angle||45.4%||27.5%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 35.63, p < .001 ***|
|Individual measures||46.4%||34.4%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 15.24, p < .001 ***|
|Societal measures||70.2%||70%||χ2(1, N = 1048) = 0, p = .99|
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Hase, V.; Engelke, K.M. Emotions in Crisis Coverage: How UK News Media Used Fear Appeals to Report on the Coronavirus Crisis. Journal. Media. 2022, 3, 633-649. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3040042
Hase V, Engelke KM. Emotions in Crisis Coverage: How UK News Media Used Fear Appeals to Report on the Coronavirus Crisis. Journalism and Media. 2022; 3(4):633-649. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3040042Chicago/Turabian Style
Hase, Valerie, and Katherine M. Engelke. 2022. "Emotions in Crisis Coverage: How UK News Media Used Fear Appeals to Report on the Coronavirus Crisis" Journalism and Media 3, no. 4: 633-649. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3040042