Marina JOUBERT, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Emma WEITKAMP, The University of the West of England, United Kingdom
Michelle RIEDLINGER, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
As the novel coronavirus outbreak and Covid-19 pandemic unfolds around the globe, citizens of the world are collectively living through an exceptional time in history. One of the characteristics of the pandemic is intensive coverage in the mass media. The most pertinent societal ramifications of the pandemic are captured daily by editorial cartoonists in print and online media.
In this presentation, the research team will present their findings on three key phases of the project. Phase one focused on portrayals of the novel coronavirus in South African newspaper cartoons during the first months of the pandemic in 2020. In phase 2, the South African research team explored how South African cartoonists reflected on the socio-political and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. In phase three, the South African team is collaborating with peers in the UK and Australia to compare to presence and meaning of newspaper cartoons related to Covid-19 across these three countries.
Across these phases, we have analyzed how newspaper cartoons, as a powerful form of visual news discourse, contribute to the public communication of science. In particular, we show how these cartoons visual public concerns and fears related to the pandemic, comment on issues related to social justice and inequality, as well as the relationship between science and politics. We will also discuss examples of how newspaper cartoons contributed to combating misinformation and fake news during the pandemic.