1st Edition

Political Communication in the Time of Coronavirus

Edited By Peter Van Aelst, Jay G. Blumler Copyright 2022
    252 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the flows of communication between politicians, journalists, and citizens.

    Distinguished contributors grapple with how the pandemic, as a global unexpected event, disrupted the communication process and changed the relationships between politics, media, and publics, the three central players of political communication. Using different methodologies, they scrutinize changes in government communication, (new) media coverage, and public opinion during this crisis. The book moves beyond the USA and Western Europe to include cases from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia, taking into account how variations in the political context, the media system and personal leadership can influence how the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the political communication process.

    It is an ideal text for advanced students and scholars of political communication, political science, and media studies.

    Chapter 13 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com.

    1. COVID-19 as an ideal case for a rally-around-the-flag? How government communication, media coverage and a polarized public sphere determines leadership approvals in times of crisis.

    Peter Van Aelst

    PART 1: Government communications

    2. From consensus to dissensus: The UK’s management of a pandemic in a divided nation

    Ruth Garland and Darren Lilleker

    3. Beyond Control and Resistance: The Dual Narrative of the Coronavirus Outbreak in Digital China

    Yuan Zeng

    4. COVID-19 in Chile: A health crisis amidst a political crisis amidst a social crisis

    Ingrid Bachmann, Sebastián Valenzuela, Arturo Figueroa-Bustos

    5. The Italian Prime Minister as a captain in the storm: The pandemic as an opportunity to build personalized political leadership.

    Gianpietro Mazzoleni, Roberta Bracciale

    PART 2: Media coverage

    6. Interactive Propaganda: How Fox News and Donald Trump co-produced false narratives about the Covid-19 crisis

    Yunkang Yang, Lance Bennett

    7. Stooges of the system or holistic observers? A computational analysis of news media’s Facebook posts on political actors during the coronavirus crisis in Germany

    Thorsten Quandt, Svenja Boberg, Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Lena Frischlich

    8. More Than "a Little Flu": Alternative Digital Journalism and the Struggle to Re-Frame the Brazilian Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

    Stuart Davis

    9. When a Polarized Media System Meets a Pandemic: Framing the Political Discord over COVID-19 Aid Campaigns in Turkey

    Gizem Melek, Emre İşeri

    PART 3: Public Opinion

    10. Divided we trust? The role of polarization on rally-around-the-flag effects during the COVID-19 crisis

    Ana S. Cardenal, Laia Castro-Herrero, Christian Schemer, Jesper Strömbäck, Agnieszka Stępińska, Claes de Vreese, Peter Van Aelst

    11. The role of political polarization on American and Australian trust and media use during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Andrea Carson, Shaun Ratcliff, Leah Ruppanner

    12. "I don’t vote because I don’t want to get infected": Pandemic, polarization and public trust during the 2020 Presidential Election in Poland.

    Sabina Mihelj, Damian Guzek, Václav Štětka

    13. The Swedish Way: How ideology and media use influenced the formation, maintenance and change of beliefs about the coronavirus

    Adam Shehata, Isabella Glogger & Kim Andersen


    Peter Van Aelst is Professor of Political Communication at the Department of Political Science of the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

    Jay G. Blumler was an Emeritus Professor of Public Communication at the University of Leeds, UK and Emeritus Professor of Journalism at the University of Maryland, USA.

    "This book offers a rich trove of empirical data and theoretical arguments from around the world that will help understand further multiple communication and political aspects of the pandemic. I am particularly struck by the sophistication of the analysis and the impressive efforts to analyze the effective and botched responses to the pandemic as shaped by communicative processes, choices and styles by governments. Peter Van Aelst and the late great Jay Blumler have assembled a formidable collection that yields novel insights into classic political communication questions - polarization, government communication, elite cues, leadership, and public trust."—Silvio Waisbord, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University