A Country Comparative Analysis of International Print Media’s Framing of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Shumaila J. Bhatti, Paul P. Billinson, Lauren A. Cornell, Ashmita Das, Courtney Gammon, Lauren O. Kelly, Jeongwon Yang, Silje Kristiansen


This study examines how newspapers in six countries frame the COVID-19 pandemic. The quantitative content analysis shows that most articles were written with a “consequence” or a “collective action” frame and portrayed the pandemic in a social and national context. Journalists used thematic and loss frames more often than episodic and gain frames. Framing differed between countries. Pakistani articles had a social justice perspective. South Korean and South African journalists employed the collective action frame more than other countries. German articles used gain more than loss frames. South Korean and Argentinian journalists used the individual action frame the least and focused stronger on the future than journalists in other countries. U.S. articles used the uncertainty frame more than articles from other countries. These differences might help understand the different approaches countries take in trying to manage the spread of the virus and give some insights into how people across the world take different actions.


SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, framing, media coverage, content analysis, country comparison

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