“The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis

Wagner A, Reifegerste D (2021)
Health Communication.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | E-Veröff. vor dem Druck | Englisch
 
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Abstract / Bemerkung
The study presented in this article examined individuals’ interpersonal communication about media coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. In times of a severe public health crisis, people rely heavily on media coverage to stay informed. Communicating with others about this coverage can help them gain deeper insights and evaluate pandemic-related information. According to the two-step flow of communication, opinion leaders, such as health experts, play an important role in interpersonal communication by disseminating information, influencing others, and providing orientation. To examine the nature of interpersonal communication about pandemic-related media coverage, we conducted 22 semi-structured interviews. We explored: a) the communicative roles within the informal social network, b) the functions of the communication for the individual, and c) the potential transformations in the trajectory of the pandemic. Findings show that communication with close and more distant social contacts occurred largely on an equal basis, while the rare opinion leaders mainly emerged as information brokers. Communication about media coverage serves the functions of information sharing and retrieving, information validation, and coping with negative emotions. Finally, communication partners, roles, and conversational topics partly changed over time. Our study extends existing research on interpersonal communication about health topics, as well as on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Erscheinungsjahr
2021
Zeitschriftentitel
Health Communication
ISSN
1041-0236
eISSN
1532-7027
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2958227

Zitieren

Wagner A, Reifegerste D. “The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis. Health Communication. 2021.
Wagner, A., & Reifegerste, D. (2021). “The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis. Health Communication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.1989786
Wagner, Anna, and Reifegerste, Doreen. 2021. ““The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis”. Health Communication.
Wagner, A., and Reifegerste, D. (2021). “The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis. Health Communication.
Wagner, A., & Reifegerste, D., 2021. “The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis. Health Communication.
A. Wagner and D. Reifegerste, ““The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis”, Health Communication, 2021.
Wagner, A., Reifegerste, D.: “The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis. Health Communication. (2021).
Wagner, Anna, and Reifegerste, Doreen. ““The Part Played by People” in Times of COVID-19: Interpersonal Communication about Media Coverage in a Pandemic Crisis”. Health Communication (2021).
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