On 1 May 2020, South Africa relaxed its lockdown restrictions from level 5 to level 4 allowing for businesses in some industries to resume trading within predefined lockdown conditions.
Media coverage analysis shows that South Africa is faced with tough times ahead, as restrictions are set to continue while the country remains in lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Amid uncertainty around the altered lockdown restrictions, media coverage points to a lack of clarity around why some industries cannot resume trade. One of the areas coming under the spotlight in this latest research, alongside the economic impact of COVID-19, is the decision by the Department of Basic Education to reopen schools under level 4. The current plan is phase in Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils from 1 June, 2020.
Social media discussions mirror the media’s uncertainty around what permits are required and whether everyone returning to work needs a permit. Some images have since surfaced on social media where some people were shown to not observe social distancing. These are some of the conversation trends that emerged in the past seven days.
The sixth edition of the weekly COVID-19 media research and analysis by Ornico includes a sample of 4 773 media items collected from online, print and broadcast sources from 29 April to 5 May 2020. Radio and TV coverage account for 18% of media items this week and these continue to be ones with the most reach across South Africa. Online platforms take the lead at just over 76% of total news items, which includes some that have been repurposed from print by some of the leading media outlets.
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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