Coverage: Covid-19 News and Information from State-Backed Outlets

/Coverage: Covid-19 News and Information from State-Backed Outlets

The team’s data memo on Covid-19 News and Information from State-Backed Outlets Targeting French, German and Spanish-Speaking Social Media Users has been widely covered, including in the following outlets:

The Washington Post: Chinese and Russian state-backed media spread misleading virus information, study claims (Coronavirus update from 29 June 2020)

Media outlets backed by autocratic governments have dominated the online coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in many countries in Europe and Latin America, according to a study from the University of Oxford released Monday, raising concerns about the spread of misinformation.

“Many of these state-backed outlets blend reputable, fact-based reporting about the coronavirus with misleading or false information, which can lead to greater uncertainty among public audiences trying to make sense of the covid-19 pandemic,” Katarina Rebello, a research assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute, wrote in a statement.

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty: COVID-19 Disinformation From Russia, China More Influential Than Domestic News Sources, Study Finds

The study, released by OII on June 29, found that the Russian international news network RT has achieved up to five times the number of engagements per article share on Twitter and Facebook with its French-language coronavirus coverage than the major French daily Le Monde.

China Radio International (CTI), meanwhile, has generated four times the number of engagements per shared article than the leading Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The Globe Post: Russian, Chinese Media Target Europeans With COVID-19 Fake News: Study

The first theme aims to undermine readers’ trust in their public institutions by reporting on civil disobedience and strained relationships between Spanish, German, and French public officials and their citizens. The researchers identified this tactic as one aimed at undermining democracy and instilling a sense of doubt in readers about Western governments.

The second theme was an emphasis on the success of the outlets’ home countries’ response to the pandemic. “Chinese outlets underscored the country’s leadership role in promoting international cooperation and facilitating a global recovery from the public health emergency,” the researchers wrote.

Research assistant Rebello identified this theme as a driving force for why state-backed media outlets from these countries are so successful at spreading misinformation during the pandemic.

“Some of these operations are interested in praising their country’s response to the pandemic or shifting blame to other countries,” she told The Globe Post. “These governments may also be seeking support in places where they want to have allies and good relations.”

ABS-CBN: Chinese, Russian misinformation on coronavirus spread in Europe: study

In their French, German as well as Spanish output, state media groups have “politicised the coronavirus by criticising Western democracies, praising their home countries, and promoting conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus,” the institute said.

“A majority of the content in these outlets is factually based. But what they have, especially if you look at the Russian outlets, is an agenda to discredit democratic countries,” Oxford researcher Jonathan Bright told AFP.

“The subtle weave in the overarching narrative is that democracy is on the verge of collapse.”

France Inter: Coronavirus : les fausses infos de médias chinois et russes plus virales sur Facebook que celles du Monde

Le résultat de l’étude est clair : “La plupart des médias soutenus par l’État chinois, iranien, russe et turc ont des réseaux de distribution plus petits que les médias traditionnels mais leur contenu en français, en allemand et en espagnol est néanmoins visible par des millions d’utilisateurs des médias sociaux à travers le monde“, peut-on lire.

Par ailleurs, quand on regarde l’engagement (c’est-à-dire les partages, “likes” ou commentaires) suscités par les articles portant sur le coronavirus, la tendance s’inverse. Pour chaque article publié, les interactions générées sont beaucoup plus nombreuses chez les médias liés à la Chine et à la Russie que dans les médias traditionnels en France. Une viralité des contenus qui peut facilement contrebalancer le nombre d’abonnés plus faible.

L’Express (avec AFP): Coronavirus : la désinformation russe et chinoise prend racine en France et en Allemagne

Le rapport mesure l’engagement des internautes, via le nombre de fois qu’un utilisateur partage ou aime un article sur Facebook, le commente ou le retweete sur Twitter. L’étude porte sur les 20 articles les plus populaires de chaque organe de presse entre le 18 mai et le 5 juin.

Le contenu en français de RT obtient une moyenne d’engagement de 528 sur Facebook et Twitter, et Chine nouvelle un score de 374, contre 105 pour le journal Le Monde. En allemand, les articles de RT obtiennent un score de 158 sur Facebook et Twitter, contre 90 pour Der Spiegel.

El Pais: La agresiva (y exitosa) estrategia en redes de los medios estatales de Rusia, China, Irán y Turquía

No hay ningún medio global en español que tenga más impacto de media por cada artículo publicado en Facebook y Twitter que la cadena estatal rusa RT. EL PAÍS, por ejemplo, tiene una audiencia agregada que duplica la rusa en esas dos redes, pero también publica muchos más posts. Otros medios estatales de países con poca libertad de prensa como la chinas Xinhua, CGTN y CRI, la iraní Hispan TV o la también rusa Sputnik tienen también una media de impacto por artículo mayor que los medios tradicionales.

“Estos medios estatales producen menos y de media tienen más éxito por artículo, siempre que midamos éxito como interacciones. Pueden hacer muchas cosas para hacer su contenido más atractivo, como adoptar tonos más emocionales o agresivos en redes sociales”, dice Jonathan Bright, investigador en el Oxford Internet Institute (OII) y coautor del estudio que recoge estos datos que analiza la producción de medios estatales rusos, chinos, iraníes y turcos en español, francés y alemán entre el 18 de mayo y el 5 de junio. El español es con diferencia la lengua que más peso tiene en las redes.

2020-08-13T15:15:56+01:00July 3rd, 2020|In the News, Press|