How do communications change in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic? What role do actors from science, politics and the media take over? How do they deal with uncertainty from this situation? By reviewing relevant studies and conducting expert interviews, we provide answers to these questions.
The project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), investigates the role of communication in times of crisis. It extends to the communicative practices of various actors, e.g. from the fields of science, politics, the media, and the general public in the context of a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Data are collected and evaluated regarding the following questions:
- How do communications change in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What is the role of certain actors from science, politics, and the media? How does it change in the course of a crisis?
- Does the constellation of actors change when it comes to communications in times of crisis?
- What particular developments in communicative practices can be observed? (Especially with regard to functional and dysfunctional aspects, e.g. the emergence of conspiracy narratives)?
- What are the regulatory needs being discussed?
- What are the findings on the role of communication in previous crises?
To answer these questions, we will assess and systematically evaluate the current state of international research and identify central lines of research. Besides, we will conduct qualitative interviews with selected experts who represent different perspectives. Our expertise aims to identify the further need for research and action concerning communications in times of crisis.
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