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 – polarised confidence in government officials

Swedes’ confidence in government officials varies greatly depending on their political leanings. Politicians are perceived as more in agreement when it comes to their views on how the corona pandemic is being handled in Sweden. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – greater agreement among researchers

Researchers are perceived as more in agreement when it comes to their views on how the corona pandemic is being handled in Sweden. The tone of news reporting on the coronavirus is perceived as more alarmist than in February. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – less agreement among journalists

Confidence in government officials who comment on the coronavirus is at its lowest level since the start of the pandemic. Journalists are perceived to be less in agreement than previously when it comes to their views on how the pandemic is being handled.  These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – high confidence in healthcare professionals

Swedish Television (SVT) remains the most common and trustworthy news source about the coronavirus for Swedes. Healthcare professionals are the professional group that Swedes have the most confidence in. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – growing disagreement amongst politicians

Prior to Christmas 2020, new restrictions were introduced in Sweden to reduce the spread of infection. At the same time, there was a decline in the public’s confidence in politicians, who were also perceived to be less in agreement about how the pandemic is being handled, than previously. These are two of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – confidence boost for politicians

Confidence in politicians is rising in Sweden following the new restrictions introduced by the Swedish government. The media’s reporting on the pandemic is perceived to be more hyped and alarmist. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – confidence in news media is increasing

In mid-October, the spread of the coronavirus began to increase again in Sweden after being fairly constant during the late summer and autumn. Parallel to the rising infection rate, Swedes consumption of news plus confidence in the media coverage also increased. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

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| 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).

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| 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).

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| 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).

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