As South Africa entered its third week of lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, media coverage research by Ornico showed marginal increase in mentions compared to the first two weeks.
On the eve of the start to the Easter Weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 9 April 2020 that the lockdown would be extended by an additional two weeks to 30 April 2020.
The previous week saw increased magazine coverage as the majority of monthly magazines hit the shelves. This was a change from the week before which was filled with uncertainty as South Africa was going into lockdown with most questions unanswered, most businesses closing and online media taking centre-stage.
Based on the sample of 4 250 media items collected from online, print and broadcast sources for the period 8 to 14 April 2020, research shows little change in the tone of coverage.
The latest week sees the president and the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize rising to the top of mentions. The extended lockdown came with increased concerns about economic impact, an increase in the number of cases and whether South Africa will need to stay indoors for much longer.
Gauteng remained the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa and Twitter data collected over the period shows two cities in the province to generate most of the conversations. Johannesburg accounts for 16% of mentions and Pretoria (Tshwane) comes in at 7% which makes these two cities exceptions as the only ones to appear in the Top 3 from the same province.
Brand intelligence firm Ornico has committed its resources to assist the communication industry and will be working closely with the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) and other industry role players to help understand reportage around the pandemic. This will help professional communicators to improve critical messaging and to direct it to relevant audiences.
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