The PANCOPOP team has started working on strands 1 & 2.
The former, Strand 1 Health Crisis Communication, maps government-led pandemic crisis communication processes in each country and examines the ways in which they were affected by populism. By mapping the core pandemic communication developments and conducting qualitative interviews in four countries (Brazil, Poland, Serbia, and USA), the team aims to answer the following questions: Which actors were involved, how were decisions made on public health messaging, and what kinds of themes were dominant? What was the relationship between political and scientific actors? Which actors and choices pushed toward polarization and partisanship, or toward solidarity? What was the role of populist leaders in this context? Researchers conducted a number of interviews with medical experts, scientists, government officials/politicians, and media experts. More interviews are planned for the coming weeks.
The latter, Strand 2 Media Policy, investigates the link between populism and media policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within this strand, the team is trying to understand: How did media policies (e.g., freedom of expression and right to information, distribution of advertising) change during the pandemic, and what role did populist leaders play in these changes? What was the impact of these changes on democratic governance and pro-democratic news media functions? Secondary data analysis and elite interviews will be employed to find answers to these questions.