Research by Northeastern University’s Myo Chung, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism, was recently published in Health Communication, a flagship peer-reviewed journal in the field of health communication.
Chung’s study, entitled “Red Media, Blue Media, Trump Briefings and COVID-19: Examining How Information Sources Predict Risk Preventive Behaviors via Threat and Efficacy,” was featured in late April. It examined how different media use during the COVID-19 pandemic predicted the public’s behaviors to prevent COVID-19.
The study demonstrated that those obtaining COVID-19 information from conservative media and Trump briefings were less likely to believe that COVID-19 is a serious threat and that recommended preventive behaviors are effective and feasible. These beliefs, in turn, resulted in their decreased intentions to adopt COVID-19 preventative behaviors such as wearing a mask and social distancing. In contrast, those who got COVID-19 information from liberal media, health organizations’ briefings and traditional media were more willing to take COVID-19 preventive action.
Gifts from the Northeastern community supported NU COVID-19 Seed Funding and subsidized Chung’s study. The program was rapidly organized by Northeastern University’s Office of the Provost, in partnership with the colleges, to provide critical support for COVID-19 research. Funded studies addressed the global need for pandemic-related research in areas such as understanding music as an antidote for the pandemic blues, and building data-driven infection prediction models.