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  • Washington Post coverage: State-backed news sources and coronavirus

    16 April 2020

    Person watching Putin on TV

    The latest ComProp memo on coronavirus coverage by state-backed English-language news sources was covered by the Washington Post:

    As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people across the globe to stay inside — and spend more time scanning the news — state-sponsored media outlets have tried to spin it to their advantage, according to an Oxford Internet Institute report.

    The study — which analyzed coronavirus-related news from state-backed English-language media in Russia, China, Iran and Turkey — found some common themes that have the potential to cloud and complicate global efforts to tackle the pandemic.

    Among them: portraying responses by others to the pandemic as “incompetent,” pushing conspiracy theories about the origins of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and positioning their countries as world leaders in the fight against the virus…

    The intended audience for English-language media in China, Turkey, Iran and Russia is the country’s diaspora as well as “people who like conspiracy theories in the West,” Howard said. The majority of the content has heavy political spin rather than outright lies.

    Read the full article here.

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