During 2020, VA (Public & Science) is conducting a study to understand how people in Sweden are receiving and interpreting information about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The project includes a number of surveys to measure public attitudes combined with studies of the actual media reporting. 

The ongoing pandemic presents major challenges for society.  Communication is a crucial factor in the response to these challenges. Individuals, organisations and countries are all faced with making many decisions based on a limited but growing evidence base.

Researchers and experts at scientific institutions and authorities, as well as journalists, play a decisive role in what information is communicated to society. News media are central channels for this information.

To understand how people receive and interpret information about the current pandemic, and how this is linked to the way the pandemic is being communicated in the media, VA (Public & Science) is conducting a real-time study, in collaboration with researchers at the Karolinska Institute and Södertörn University

Key questions being addressed in the study are:

  1. Which channels are the public using to get information about the new coronavirus and the current pandemic?
  2. How are the messages in the information interpreted?
  3. Which channels and actors are perceived to be more or less credible than others in terms of what is being communicated?
  4. Which actors feature most prominently in the news media (e.g. researchers, government officials, healthcare professionals), and what are the key messages that they are conveying?
  5. Are there any changes in the responses to questions 1-4 during the course of the pandemic, and if so, what are they?
  6. What similarities and differences can be found in the reporting in different media channels, in relation to each other and over time?

The study is supported by Anne-Marie och Gustaf Anders Stiftelse för mediaforskning, Karolinska Institutet, LIF – the research-based pharmaceutical industry, Södertörn University, the Wenner-Gren Foundations and the Swedish Research Council

We are keen to hear from organisations undertaking similar studies in other countries.  For more information about the study, please contact Gustav Bohlin, a researcher at VA.

Read the latest about the study below:


| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – confidence in politicians is decreasing

The news media are still Swedes’ primary source of information about the coronavirus, but fewer young people are accessing any information at all. Researchers are perceived to be more in agreement in their views on how Sweden is handling the pandemic. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – less agreement among researchers

Researchers are perceived to be less in agreement in their views on how the corona pandemic is being handled in Sweden. Confidence in various professional groups, however, has not changed since July, nor has Swedes’ consumption and perceptions of the media’s reporting on the coronavirus. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – less alarmist tone

Swedes perceive the tone of reporting on the coronavirus in the media as less hyped/alarmist than they did prior to the summer. Public confidence in the media is decreasing but has strengthened for government officials. These are the latest findings of a study on reporting of the coronavirus in the Swedish media being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – has confidence passed its peak?

After a significant increase in April, the Swedish public’s confidence in government officials is now back at the same level as it was in March. Swedish Television (SVT) remains the media channel that most Swedes access for news about the coronavirus. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – less agreement amongst researchers and politicians

The Swedish public’s confidence in politicians who comment about coronavirus in the news is decreasing. Both researchers and politicians are perceived to be less in agreement about Sweden’s handling of the pandemic than in the previous month. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).  

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – less hyped tone of reporting

The tone of reporting on the coronavirus in Swedish news media is perceived by the Swedish public to be less alarmist now than it was a month ago. Swedes continue to have a high level of confidence in healthcare professionals, researchers and government officials. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – Confidence in government officials is growing

The Swedish public’s confidence in government officials, who provide comment in the media about the coronavirus, has risen in recent weeks.  When it comes to media coverage of the pandemic, the Swedes have the greatest confidence in public service broadcasters – Swedish Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media study – high public confidence in researchers and healthcare professionals

For three out of four Swedes, the news media is their primary source of information about the new coronavirus. In terms of the visibility of different professional groups in the media coverage, Swedes have the highest confidence in doctors and researchers, while there is a lower level of confidence in government officials. These are the findings of a new survey undertaken by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

Läs vidare

| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

New Swedish study to investigate how information is being communicated to society during the corona pandemic.

The Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) has launched a study to understand how people in Sweden are receiving and interpreting information about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The project will include a number of surveys to measure public attitudes combined with studies of the actual media reporting. We invite other organisations to collaborate in the study, and are interested in hearing from those undertaking similar studies in other countries. The study is taking place during spring 2020.

Läs vidare