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Media Uses During Pandemics

Spring 2020

In light of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the ubiquity of false information about this deadly disease on social media, multiple researchers from Lebanon came together to examine media uses, selective exposure, bias, knowledge gap, information needs, and media platform credibility and trust during pandemics. The project aims to survey 1,000 Lebanese individuals from across the country using an online questionnaire, during the height of the ongoing pandemic. It will examine major uses of traditional and new media platforms, especially social media and assess the public’s trust in these media, their engagement in sharing news about the pandemic, and their criteria of evaluating the news they share. The goal is to better understand media uses and habits in order to effectively disseminate accurate and potentially life-saving information about the virus and simultaneously fight false and potentially life-threatening information and fake news related to this pandemic.  
Lead Researchers
Dr. Jad Melki, Director of the Institute of Media Research and Training at the Lebanese American University 
Dr. Eveline Hitti, Chairperson of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the American University of Beirut.