Crisis communication in audiovisual format: information from Spain's National Health System on YouTube in 2020.

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From: El Profesional de la Informacion(Vol. 30, Issue 4)
Publisher: EPI SCP
Document Type: Article
Length: 8,400 words

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Abstract :

The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly represented an unprecedented health crisis throughout 2020 that has implied great changes at both the informational and media levels. Audiovisual content has increased considerably, and health institutions have been interested in demonstrating their position as reliable and first-rate information sources. Indeed, the amount of content disseminated in just 2 months after the declaration of the pandemic exceeded that produced throughout 2019. This study describes the response to this health crisis by the Spanish National Health System on YouTube. To achieve this, the 1,035 audiovisual pieces published by official channels in 2020 were analyzed. To carry out this analysis, each piece was classified into one of seven types (from press conferences to tutorials, recommendations, informative pieces, or testimonials), while the topic covered, the format, as well as the number of views and user comments were determined. The period of greatest production corresponded to the first wave and subsequent deescalation, and the health institution that emitted most messages was the Ministry of Health with 603 videos, 170 animations, and 262 hybrid pieces combining pure video, text, and icons. Animations and hybrid pieces were the most successful messages, being used primarily as guidance to disseminate recommendations and healthy habits. The results of this study highlight the use of animations as a suitable informative resource for education and health promotion. In addition, it identifies the main weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities presented by health audiovisual information on YouTube. Keywords Health information; Institutional information; Crisis communication; Covid-19; Coronavirus; Pandemics; Public institutions; Audiovisual communication; National Health System; Social media; Social networks; YouTube.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A675461792