Media Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of Media Systems: A Comparative Study




COVID-19, media system, political system, media policy, media consumption, comparative study, media audience


Global crisis events like the coronavirus pandemic can have an effect on the media and the habits of their audience. The need to find information about the virus and imposed restrictions, as well as the intensity of the COVID-19 coverage and the need to verify the truthfulness of news, make people use many different sources of information. People use media in different ways depending on where they live and the type of political regime and model of media system in their country. This paper aims to analyze whether the model of media system affected people’s selection of sources of information on the virus in Poland, Italy, France, Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and if the pandemic could have changed the media consumption. Based on an online survey conducted with 9541 respondents from six countries, and reports on media use in Poland in 2019 and 2020, we argue that the model of media system did not determine the changes we observed in media use. The nature of the pandemic was more important in this respect, and, as our research shows, led to an increase in media use in the studied countries – especially websites and social media. The case of Poland also showed that the use of public service increased, which can be interpreted as the need for the public to learn about the government’s opinions and restrictions, and to verify news found online. The increase in online media and public service use are the most noticeable changes in media consumption in Poland during the pan-demic compared to 2019.


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Author Biographies

Dagmara Głuszek-Szafraniec, University of Silesia in Katowice

Is an assistant professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland). She is the author of articles on media systems in the world and co-author of books on media coverage of reality (war in Ukraine, Storm on Capitol, relation between journalists and politicians, religion in the public sphere). Her areas of interest focus on changes in foreign media markets and mainly on the Spanish model.

Róża Norström, University of Silesia in Katowice

Is an assistant professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland). She is the author of several publications dedicated to media, communication and politics. Her research interests focus on political communication, international relations, and conflict reporting.


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How to Cite

Głuszek-Szafraniec, Dagmara, and Róża Norström. 2022. “Media Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of Media Systems: A Comparative Study”. Politeja 19 (3(78):75-96.



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