We today released the results of our analysis of news output during the Coronavirus pandemic across nationals and trade press. It found an overwhelming focus on Coronavirus, headed by BBC News which devoted 83% of its output to COVID-19 coverage. However, in the verticals this was much more varied.
In the nationals, coronavirus is the main news focus. BBC News tops the list for COVID-19 output, but the Guardian and Daily Mail also share a high proportion of coronavirus content, especially considering the non-news commissioned features they run.
Daily Coronavirus Mentions - Nationals:
- BBC News – 83%
- Guardian – 64%
- Daily Mail/Mail Online – 63%
In the trade press, the output varies widely depending on the vertical. At one end of the spectrum, the travel press is devoting almost all its output to covering the various facets of the fallout of the coronavirus on the travel industry. Similarly, the retail press is highly focused on the pandemic, where it reports on the surge in demand in grocery sector and the struggle for survival for stores shut during the lockdown.
The outlier is the B2B technology press which is still very focused on its usual news output.
Paul Kunert, UK Editor at The Register, said: “We try to provide readers with a balanced diet of news and analysis - as always - and though we have dedicated column inches to COVID-19, we have steered clear of scare stories and are reporting on the impact the virus is having on the industry, how technology is being used to help people live their lives in the middle of a pandemic as well as the need-to-know facts. Readers come to us for a mixture of reasons and those have not changed.”
Weekly Coronavirus Articles – trade press:
Emma King, Ensono’s European Marketing Director, said: “The media’s coverage of COVID-19 up until this point has been pretty representative of the business and marketing disruption all organisations are facing. However, as we move out of the initial phases of risk mapping, marketing departments need to focus on the longer term and consider how to optimise and transform for the future.
It is promising to see that B2B technology media has moved forward within this progressive framework. It’s vital that we continue to see some semblance of traditional news in vertical platforms as we try to find our new normal. I think the sensitivity of tone and sense of community that a lot of the coronavirus press has evoked during this global crisis, however, should be something we strive to keep and continue.”
Tom Fry, Head of Data Analytics at Resonance commented: “When you look at the data, it’s surprising to see how much of the news output is devoted to Coronavirus news, with an astonishing 5 out of every 6 articles on the BBC on the subject.
For the trade press, the proportion of the Coronavirus coverage correlates with the scale of the impact. In travel, which is essentially shut down, it’s almost the only topic the are reporting on. In B2B technology, it’s far less of a focus.
The pandemic is taking a lot of column inches in the national media. It’s also not surprising that the sectors most impacted by the crisis have more of a focus. However, for B2B technology and vertical business press, there is still a desire to write stories outside of the crisis. They don’t want everything tied back to a COVID-19 headline - especially shamelessly. Brands need to keep communicating beyond the Coronavirus headlines for the good of the economy when we emerge, albeit with more sensitivity.”
About the research
Mainstream media statistics based on analysis of the publication’s RSS feeds on Tuesday 7th April. Trade publications analysis based on analysing all articles output in the past week, and searching for a COVID-19 focus (1st – 7th April 2020). The trade publications analysed were Travel Weekly (Travel), Retail Week (Retail), FN London (Finance), Property Week (Property), SC Magazine UK (Security), The Register (B2B Technology).