First ACHC results on media use during COVID-19 crisis

Published on April 29 2020 -The first results of a study by Fam te Poel, Annemiek Linn and other ACHC colleagues focusing on media use and information needs of the Dutch population during the Covid-19 crisis, show that mainly traditional media such as news programs on tv, and newspapers (both offline and online) are most often used for information about the coronavirus.

The data for this study was collected by the online panel company Flycatcher between April 17 and 24, 2020. A total of 977 participants completed the online survey (50% men and almost one third of the population was highly or less educated, and the average age was 52 years).

The results show, among other things, that most people need information about the prevention of the coronavirus, the symptoms and treatment of the coronavirus, the severity of the complaints, and possible vaccinations. In addition to traditional media, online news websites are also frequently visited. Search engines, health websites, and social media are less often used to seek information about the coronavirus. Furthermore, it appears that half of the Dutch population find the information about the coronavirus sometimes contradictory and unclear. Half of Dutch people often find the information about the coronavirus reliable.

The researchers also asked respondents for their views on the government’s proposed tracking app. Half of the Dutch population thinks that this app cannot guarantee privacy. A third of the respondents also say that they will not use the app.

The entire report can be downloaded here as a PDF:

Te Poel, F., Linn, A., Baumgartner, S.E., van Dijk, L., Smit, E.S. (2020). Media use and information needs of the Dutch during the Covid-19 crisis.