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The Emotional Impact of COVID-19 News

The Emotional Impact of COVID-19 News

Understanding the Emotional Impact of COVID-19 Coverage in Popular Media

While media coverage of COVID-19 pandemic retains a critical function in informing society, it may induce emotional responses, which can help or hinder the effectiveness of public communication. Ongoing media exposure to the pandemic may impact the mental wellbeing of people, especially vulnerable groups. Also, news framings may elicit emotional responses that impact trust in the media. This project brings together researchers from UGPN partner universities in Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, and Statistics to analyze the emotional response to COVID-19 media coverage and use the results to prototype an evidence-based framework for integrating emotional awareness in media coverage of pandemics. The framework helps enhance trust in media and protect the mental wellbeing of people during pandemics by commensurating the emotional responses to media with the content being shared.

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