The Role of Communication Strategies and Media Discourse during the COVID-19 Outbreak


This project is the Swiss part of an international study, led by the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada, which brings together researchers from 8 countries, working in a wide range of fields including health, communication, journalism and politics. The study is entitled “The role of communication strategies and media discourse in shaping psychological and behavioral response to the COVID-19 outbreak: an international comparative analysis”. IMI’s research fellows in Switzerland are Prof. Nathalie Pignard-Cheynel (AJM, University of Neuchâtel) and Sébastien Salerno (Medi@LAB-Genève, University of Geneva).

The main goal of this study is to better grasp the population’s understanding and response towards the COVID-19 outbreak, in relation to the communication strategies adopted by the authorities, media discourse and misinformation. To do so, researchers conducted a two-wave sample survey in 8 countries including Canada, the United States, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Hong Kong, the Philippines and New Zealand. The results provide valuable lessons that can be applied in future global health crises.

Keywords :
international study, public health, communication strategies, misinformation, covid-19

12 months

People involved (in Switzerland)

Principal investigators

Prof. Nathalie Pignard-Cheynel (UniNE)

Sébastien Salerno (UNIGE)

Academic institutions

Academy of Journalism and Media – AJM (UniNE)

Medi@LAB-Genève (UNIGE)


This project started in April 2020 and has been completed