Approach to Spanish TV Broadcasting Dealing with Mental Health Issues Related to Pandemic Lockdown
Keywords:mental health, pandemic fatigue, Television, covid-19, content analysis
AbstractDespite the importance of mental health matters for people’s well-being and the essential role of television to help spread medical issues, our study shows that the media coverage of this subject has been poor and somehow trivial during the so-called “pandemic fatigue” in Spain. This research focuses on the 24-hour television broadcast of five channels throughout 16 months, coding the content to identify trends and to know how media covered mental health topics all along seven days in January 2021. The analysis reveals a trivial representation of the topic, including irrelevant references to mental health that may not help make visible problems such as depression, anxiety, or stress. Instead, there seems to be a lack of rigorous analysis of the mental health conditions arising after the pandemic. We can infer that private broadcasters have a more suitable approach when presenting data, describing people involved or taking advice from mental health professionals. Effective information on mental health requires deep messaging and medical recommendations or statements, but from this research, it turns out that there is a touch of frivolity in the way television approaches mental health issues.
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