This study, conducted by the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), looks at Ugandan newspaper coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing mainly on five influential publications.
The study explores the attention these newspapers and a magazine paid coronavirus from 1 January to 30 April 2020, and the nature of coverage. The publications are Bukedde (a Luganda-language daily), Daily Monitor, New Vision, The Observer, and The Independent magazine.
Relying mainly on quantitative content analysis, the study explores the attention that these publications paid to the pandemic, the types of articles published (news, analysis, opinion, features, etc.), the reporting formats employed, the subjects covered, and the tone of coverage. The analysis also covers the voices in the coverage, including the occupation and gender of sources.
The study sought to answer the following questions:
- What was the volume or quantity of Covid-19 stories over the research period?
- How did the media treat the “East African project” in their coverage of the pandemic?
- What was the prominence of the Covid-19 stories within the publications under study?
- What types of articles were used to tell the Covid-19 story?
- What reporting formats were employed to cover the Covid-19 story?
- What prompted the Covid-19 stories? What was the origin of the articles?
- What topics or themes did stories about the coronavirus pandemic focus on?
- How was human sourcing used in the Covid-19 coverage?
- Which voices (categories of human sources and their gender) dominated the coverage?
- What was the tone of the coverage?
- How, if at all, did the coverage change over time?
- What explains the nature of coverage?
The study relies on responses from key informant interviews with journalists and civil society officials to explain some of the findings.
Finally, conclusions and recommendations are shared.
Download the Research report on Ugandan Newspaper Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic or read it online below.