Media behavior of youth in the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine

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The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine measures have transformed the media agenda. The aim of the study is to identify the behavioral characteristics of the youth news audience, which is formed in the context of COVID-19. To solve research tasks, from March 24 to April 5, 2020, an intelligence survey of young Ukrainians as news readers was conducted. 364 respondents aged from 18 to 29, living in different regions of Ukraine, answered the questions of the Google questionnaire. The results of the survey are qualitative in nature and highlight the trends that exist in the youth audience. According to the data, the topic of coronavirus has become a priority for 82% of respondents. Phobias of young respondents increased: more than 70% stated they were worried and afraid. The alarm response to the pandemic has prompted many media consumers (46%) to turn to more information sources than usual. On the other hand, some media consumers have reduced their contact with the media, which is a typical protective reaction. Uncertainty, suspicion, and anxiety shake the confidence of the youth audience in public institutions and the media. The study showed the emergence of new challenges for media companies. The media should anticipate the consequences of disseminating information, fake news, and adjust content strategies accordingly: compliance with journalistic standards, responsible dissemination of news, fact-checking.

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    • Figure 1. Interest of young Ukrainians in consuming news before СOVID-19
    • Figure 2. Interest of young Ukrainians in news consumption during the СOVID-19 pandemic
    • Figure 3. Topics of news read by respondents during the СOVID-19 pandemic
    • Figure 4. News formats that are most convenient for respondents
    • Figure 5. Respondents’ assessment of the completeness of information about the coronavirus in the media
    • Figure 6. Respondents’ assessment of the need to provide the media with complete information about the pandemic
    • Figure 7. Sources of information that are most trusted by respondents
    • Figure 8. Impact of coronavirus news on respondents
    • Conceptualization
      Tetiana Krainikova, Eduard Krainikov
    • Funding acquisition
      Tetiana Krainikova, Eduard Krainikov, Tetiana Yezhyzhanska
    • Investigation
      Tetiana Krainikova, Eduard Krainikov, Tetiana Yezhyzhanska
    • Methodology
      Tetiana Krainikova, Eduard Krainikov
    • Project administration
      Tetiana Krainikova
    • Validation
      Tetiana Krainikova
    • Writing – original draft
      Tetiana Krainikova
    • Resources
      Eduard Krainikov, Tetiana Yezhyzhanska
    • Supervision
      Eduard Krainikov
    • Writing – review & editing
      Eduard Krainikov, Tetiana Yezhyzhanska
    • Data curation
      Tetiana Yezhyzhanska
    • Formal Analysis
      Tetiana Yezhyzhanska
    • Visualization
      Tetiana Yezhyzhanska