COVID-19 and the Global Media: A Real-Time Perspective

March 25, 2020 by Leela Bozonelis

The coronavirus known as COVID-19 has become a global media phenomenon. Not only has it captured the hard news headlines, but it has influenced every news segment, from business to sports and from entertainment to, of course, healthcare.

It’s not very often that unexpected events come to so quickly and completely dominate the global media landscape as COVID-19 is doing. As such, we thought it would be helpful to use the robust data and analytic tools of Nexis Newsdesk™ to illuminate how the virus is being portrayed in the news. You’ll find our interactive analysis, updated in real time, here. Below are a few highlights:

Is news a predictive indicator?

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A comparison of the news and media coverage of COVID-19 reveals a direct inverse correlation with the stock market data. Perhaps the early waves of news coverage were a signal of tough financial times ahead.

A rocket-like trajectory


The coronavirus generated 916 news stories in the week of December 30, 2019, the week the government in Wuhan, China confirmed they were treating dozens of cases. In the week of March 16, 2020, COVID-19 had over 10 million. That’s an increase of more than 10,000x.

A clear indication of concern

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As businesses and individuals are feeling the impact of COVID-19, many new terms are emerging and are also seeing huge increases in media mentions.

An impact both broad and deep

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The most talked about topics connected to COVID-19 provide yet more evidence of its wide and heartbreaking reach into so many aspects of our lives.

We will continue to monitor and analyse the media coverage of COVID-19 and share it on our tracker page. In addition, we have created a new COVID-19 search available in the free Human Rights version of the Newsdesk mobile app.

To read other articles covering COVID-19 please click here. More importantly, we hope that you’ll continue to do all you can to protect yourself and others.