Viral News on the Coronavirus: Does it Contribute to Health Communication?
AbstractFrom a century to a decade ago, the news media played a crucial role in providing the public with valuable information, especially during a crisis. However, the advent of social media has brought about a change in access and distribution of the news and this may have resulted in less effective health communication during this global coronavirus pandemic. These days, social media can have a greater public reach and therefore, be the best tool to disseminate information. At the same time, there is the question of whether the important or trivial information is being shared. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of social media in providing the public with important information during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Using Great Britain as a case study, the research analysed the kind of content on the coronavirus that had gone viral in online news sources in the United Kingdom to determine whether the information that was being shared contributed or not to effective health communication. Keywords: news, viral news, online media, journalism, crisis communication, coronavirus.
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