Local news volume does not increase pro-social behaviors during COVID-19

Previous research found people were more likely to engage in civic behaviors—like voting, recycling, or wearing a face covering—when their local newspaper includes coverage of these activities. New research finds that may not be as relevant anymore.

From Annenberg School for Communication

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Associated Press

Biden on cognitive test: ‘Why the hell would I take a test?’

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center said verbal slips are not enough to conclude that a presidential candidate is unqualified for the job. “If you can’t focus, that’s a problem. If you can’t provide a coherent answer, that’s a problem. (But) sometimes what you’re seeing, it may be annoying, but it doesn’t speak to a person’s capacity to govern,” she said.


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Frustration and misunderstanding: For deaf folks, masking can cause communication barriers

Jami Fisher of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on how face masks can make communication difficult for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. “ASL (and other sign languages) rely on facial cues and other non-manual features to convey grammatical information as well as emotive expression,” she said. “With much of the face covered, this information is lost, as is a lot of the meaning.”


The Washington Post

Conservative media helps Trump perform ‘law and order’ in Portland, with risks for November

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center spoke about media coverage of the federal crackdown in Portland, Oregon. “The framing of this is dramatically different news channel to news channel, and this is an instance in which the visuals are difficult to understand because you’re seeing people in what look to be a kind of military uniform, and it’s unfolding at night,” she said.


NBC News

Hedge funds scoop up local newspapers withering under COVID-19 cuts

Victor Pickard of the Annenberg School for Communication commented on efforts by hedge funds to acquire struggling newspapers. “This is bad for journalists, bad for media diversity and bad for communities at a time when we desperately need more local journalism, not less,” he said.



Fighting the coronavirus infodemic

Alison Buttenheim of the School of Nursing spoke about the spread of misinformation online. "In our hyper-polarized and politicized climate, many folks just inherently mistrust advice or evidence that comes from an opposing political party," she said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Antifa rumors and hoaxes have stoked real fear in Philadelphia neighborhoods

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center says the meaning of “antifa" is being constructed in real time via public discourse. “When you use the word antifa, you’re creating the sense that it actually does exist, normalizing the language of ‘antifa,’ without knowing what the reference is,” she said. “It is becoming a ‘devil term’ on the right—a term that is used to encapsulate everything you’re afraid of.”