Covering Coronavirus: A Snapshot of the Information People Want and What Local Newsrooms are Reporting

We found that the topics people thought were most important for local news to cover were local health updates and information about local entities that provide critical services, such as hospitals, grocery stores, and local government.

When it came to the coverage newsrooms provided, we found that posts about how local government was responding to the virus and how local businesses were responding to or affected by the virus were most common.

For many coronavirus-related topics, local newsrooms provided the public with the information they rated as most important. There were some differences, however. For example, audiences rated “what local businesses are doing in response” to the coronavirus as slightly less important than several other topics, yet the topic was frequently covered in newsrooms’ posts.

Overall, we found that newsrooms dedicated many of their Facebook posts to coronavirus, a topic viewed as highly important by the public and one that garnered more Facebook engagement than other topics.

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