Based on framing and the social responsibility theoretical frameworks, this comparative study analyzes the dominance of frames in the media coverage of the COVID-19 global pandemic across three countries that have adopted different preventative measures: Sweden (herd immunity) the United Kingdom (full lockdown) and Egypt (partial lockdown ‘curfew’). While several studies have investigated the media’s role during COVID-19, few have analyzed the frames used by the media. The analyses that were made here, for the most part, is on individual countries. The current study bridges a gap by using a comparative approach to interpret the frames discovered in news articles and the tone of these stories across six media outlets in three different countries: Sweden (Dagens Nyheter and Aftonbladet) the United Kingdom (the Guardian and the Daily Mail) and Egypt (Youm 7 and Al-Ahram). Furthermore, this paper enriches scholarly studies on media framing and public health crises in Egypt that suffer from limited research. Using a quantitative content analysis over a time frame of five months and 10 days (from January 31 to July 9, 2020), a total of 585 news stories from six media outlets were analyzed. The findings of the story discovered that the morality, human Interest and fear frames were the dominant frames presented in the media across the three countries, while the Blame frame was the least common. A closer examination revealed significant differences among the three countries in six out of the seven frames analyzed. These frames excluded the morality frame and included: the attribution of responsibility frame; the human interest frame; the economic consequences frame; the conflict frame; the fear frame and the othering frame. Moreover, the study found statistical differences in tone of news stories across the three countries.
School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
Journalism & Mass Communication Department
MA in Journalism & Mass Communication
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Brian J. Bowe
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Not necessary for this item
(2021).A Feverish Spring: A Comparative Analysis of COVID-19 News Framing in Sweden, the UK, and Egypt [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
El-Behary, Hend Abdelgaber Ahmed. A Feverish Spring: A Comparative Analysis of COVID-19 News Framing in Sweden, the UK, and Egypt. 2021. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.