Information Systems Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The degree to which the media report a health emergency affects the seriousness with which the people respond to combat the health crisis. Engagement from local newspapers in the US has received scant scrutiny, even though there is a sizable body of scholarship on the analysis of COVID-19 news. We fill this void by focusing on the Rio Grande Valley area of the US-Mexico border. To understand the differences, we compared such local news coverage with the coverage of a national news outlet. After collecting the relevant news articles, we used sentiment analysis, rapid automatic keyword extraction (RAKE), and co-occurrence network analysis to examine the main themes and sentiments of COVID-19 news articles. The RAKE identified that county-specific news or local regulations are more prevalent among the key terms in The Monitor which are absent in USA Today. The co-occurrence network shows the coverage of the disruption of sports season in USA Today which is not present in The Monitor. The sentiment analysis presents fear emotion is more dominant in USA Today, but trust emotion becomes more prevalent in The Monitor news coverage. These findings show us that, although the subject of the health emergency is the same, local and national newspapers describe it in different ways, and the sentiments they convey are also not the same.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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