The report examines information inequality and other social differences in how people have navigated the coronavirus communications crisis in the UK based on data from a series of surveys fielded fortnightly since mid-April 2020. Among its highlights:
- a ‘rally around the news’ effect has been observed, as the initial rally around the UK government quickly evaporated,
- overall news use levels remain higher than before the crisis, though COVID-19 news use has declined significantly from mid-April to late June.
- as news use has fallen, inequalities in COVID-19 news use have grown (in the sense that news use has become unevenly distributed).
- gaps in news use by age and gender have grown
- there are differences in levels of COVID-19 news use by household income and levels of formal education. However, the gaps have remained at the same size since mid-April
- news avoidance has risen slightly since April, and women are consistently more likely to say they avoid news than men.
The report is part of the UK COVID-19 news and information project that analyses how the British public navigates information and misinformation about coronavirus and about how the government and other institutions are responding to the pandemic.