Thematic Analysis and Use of Journalistic Sources in the COVID-19 Crisis: The New York Times, El Universal, and El País

Itziar Bernaola-Serrano, Guadalupe Aguado-Guadalupe


The present research analyzes topics addressed in relation to COVID-19 and the use of journalistic sources at the beginning of the pandemic, an exceptional situation for newsrooms in which press work routines were substantially modified. For this purpose, a comparative study has been carried out on three leading newspapers: The New York Times (United States), El Universal (Mexico), and El País (Spain). A content analysis of 185 cover pages has revealed that The New York Times and El País focused primarily on the social consequences of the pandemic, while El Universal concentrated on the disease itself. The three newspapers coincide in using a predominance of institutional sources, with government ones being dominant. Sources actively sought by the journalists themselves were in the second position, with experts predominating. News agency information and confidential sources were not significant.



journalism, sources, The New York Times, El Universal, El País, COVID-19

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