Presentation at “Networked communication in the (post-)global era” International Conference. Bucharest, Romania. 2022.
During health threats like COVID-19, people always expect accurate information and updates from the mass media. However, the mass media are often criticized for framing and providing biased information. This study examined how COVID-19 information is presented in the Vietnamese media, using content analysis on the COVID-19 news stories collected from three of the largest publications in Vietnam. The findings showed that news about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Vietnamese media is polarized and focused on providing quick updates, cold facts, statistics, and the negative impact of the pandemic, rather than research on treatments, vaccines, or in-depth analysis of the situation. This practice can cause overwhelming, confused, or negative emotions in the public. This is the first study to examine the extent of health-related coverage in Vietnam and to challenge the effectiveness of the media in Vietnam. It is expected to provide both public health authorities and recipients of information (the community) with an understanding of how a health event is presented in the media and how the communication could be improved.