Media Release: Launch of the fourth COVID-19 media coverage analysis

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Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is conducting bi-monthly monitoring and analysis activities in order to determine trends in coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of sources in South African
media. This is a series and findings are compared against each other to show improvement, or the
lack thereof. Three analyses in the series have been published so far and findings from both reveal that the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize and the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni often speak in coverage around Covid-19. This therefore shows that the majority of sources in coverage of Covid-19 in South African media have been mostly black males affiliated to government, this at the expense of other affiliations such as , researchers, scientists and other experts in the health sector etc. These sources speaking could be attributed to government’s efforts to curb dis/misinformation around Covid-19.

MMA’s Director, William Bird and Head of Programmes, Thandi Smith say in their commentary on
dis/misinformation, “A crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic creates a perfect opportunity for those
who wish to cause confusion, chaos and public harm. Misinformation and disinformation enables
them to do just that.”

This fourth analysis being launched and whose monitoring period was from the 17th of May until the
30th of May, 2020, shows that while there is not much improvement in sources, there was a
newcomer in terms of topics these sources were speaking on. This newcomer was in the form of
Dr.Glenda Gray and the controversy her remarks on government’s lockdown regulations caused. Dr.
Gray is the President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).

READ THE FULL ANALYSIS HERE

This analysis can be accessed from MMA’s website (www.mediamonitoringafrica.org) as well as
social media platforms ( Facebook and Twitter) on which it will be shared.

For enquiries, please contact Lister Namumba, the Monitoring, Research and Analysis Programme
Manager by sending an email to listerr@mma.org.za.

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