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Build back worse: the media coverage of well-being metrics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the crucial cases of Scotland and Italy

Battaglia, Fabio (2023) Build back worse: the media coverage of well-being metrics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the crucial cases of Scotland and Italy. Social Indicators Research, 166 (3). 521 - 573. ISSN 0303-8300

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11205-022-03037-x

Abstract

Despite the media are often described as critical for the success of the well-being agenda, there is wide dissatisfaction with their current level of interest. However, the media coverage of well-being metrics has been unresearched and, even when studies have been conducted, these employed unrobust methodologies, were limited to newspapers and to restricted samples of metrics. This paper fills such gap, providing also for the first time an analysis of radio and TV coverage of well-being metrics. The research was undertaken using Factiva (for newspapers) and TVEyes (for radio and TV) for the years of 2017–2021 and 2018–2021, respectively. The countries analysed are Scotland and Italy, both pioneers in the measurement of well-being. Findings reveal that media coverage of well-being metrics has been extremely low overall and that this was impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic, which instead impacted positively on the reporting of GDP and related queries, showing that the main concern during the pandemic was the impact that this was going to have in terms of output, rather than in terms of well-being. Most composite indices, whose creation is often thought to help obtain greater media coverage, were almost if not even fully ignored by journalists, whereas metrics that lack an overall composite index but that are overseen by independent institutions and have been institutionalised were among the ones that were reported the most.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/11205
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2022 15:48
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 16:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117389

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