From domestic epidemic to world pandemic: news coverages about COVID-19 in China

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


This paper analyses Covid-19 related news reports from Chinese media between January and June 2020. By combing news published through legacy media outlets and social media channels, this paper offers an overview of how the Chinese media has been communicating the crisis with its domestic public. It argues that, in a particularly mysterious and mistrustful period of the Covid-19 outbreak, the early information vacuum and especially the silencing of local media coverage resulted in the public being unprepared and unaware of the contagion. Different media strategies were applied immediately in late January and February 2020 to
rebuild the Chinese public’s trust, with a significant emphasis on crisis resolution and institutional performance. The ‘blame game’ between China and America from March 2020 further unified the Chinese public sphere to be in line with the state media in promoting a patriotic online campaign, faithfully supporting the Chinese government and forcefully accusing the Trump administration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-113
JournalEthical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Covid-19
  • China
  • news coverage
  • crisis
  • information management


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