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Comunicar Journal 66: Public schools for educational transformation in the Knowledge Society (Vol. 29 - 2021)

News consumption and risk perception of Covid-19 in Spain


Spain is one of the countries that has been most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In times of uncertainty and stress, the media plays an important role in disseminating information. This study establishes which factors affected risk perception regarding the Coronavirus, which factors determined trust in the measures taken by the Government, and how the presentation of information influenced the spread of fake news. To answer these questions an online survey was created and was completed by 2,034 people from different autonomous communities in Spain, using two multiple linear regression models, as well as different bivariate techniques for parametric statistical analysis. The data shows increased risk perception among the sectors with greater exposure to news about the Coronavirus. A second conclusion refers to the role played by an individual's pre-existing political biases, such as ideology, and their effects on the trust placed in the measures adopted by the Government. In addition, the analysis conducted shows that sectors that follow the news more closely are not immune to the spread of fake news. This research highlights the importance of communication in risk perception and the need to conduct further research in this field, in terms of the psychological, social, and economic implications of this phenomenon.