Catchier Than COVID: An Analysis of Pandemic Coverage by Dutch News Satire Show Zondag Met Lubach

Jonas Nicolaï, Pieter Maeseele


The COVID-19 pandemic brought about difficulties for science communication in the form of declining trust in science journalism and political instrumentalization of scientific discourse. News satire has been hailed as a valid alternative to conventional forms of science communication by blending comedic and experiential modes of learning. This article investigates the COVID-19 coverage of Dutch news satire show Zondag met Lubach. It presents an analysis of 30 segments aired between March 2020 and April 2021, and reveals how the show critiqued news media and politics through the discursive lens of an infodemic in which media, political elites, and the political right are perceived as detrimental to a healthy deliberative flow of information. Furthermore, the findings show how Zondag met Lubach expanded conventional notions of satirical critique to engage in didactical dissemination of scientific topics. This article contributes to the understanding of political satire’s role in crisis contexts and of comedy as a medium for science communication.


news satire, science communication, infodemic, Zondag met Lubach, COVID-19, deliberative discourse

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