COVID-19 vaccines have been largely debated by the press. To understand how mainstream and alternative media debated vaccines, we introduce a paradigm reconstructing time-evolving narrative frames via cognitive networks and natural language processing. We study Italian news articles massively re-shared on Facebook/Twitter (up to 5 million times), covering 5745 vaccine-related news from 17 news outlets over 8 months. We find consistently high trust/anticipation and low disgust in the way mainstream sources framed "vaccine/vaccino". These emotions were crucially missing in alternative outlets. News titles from alternative sources framed "AstraZeneca" with sadness, absent in mainstream titles. Initially, mainstream news linked mostly "Pfizer" with side effects (e.g. "allergy", "reaction", "fever"). With the temporary suspension of "AstraZeneca", negative associations shifted: Mainstream titles prominently linked "AstraZeneca" with side effects, while "Pfizer" underwent a positive valence shift, linked to its higher efficacy. Simultaneously, thrombosis and fearful conceptual associations entered the frame of vaccines, while death changed context, i.e. rather than hopefully preventing deaths, vaccines could be reported as potential causes of death, increasing fear. Our findings expose crucial aspects of the emotional narratives around COVID-19 vaccines adopted by the press, highlighting the need to understand how alternative and mainstream media report vaccination news.

Emotional profiling and cognitive networks unravel how mainstream and alternative press framed AstraZeneca, Pfizer and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns / Semeraro, Alfonso; Vilella, Salvatore; Ruffo, Giancarlo; Stella, Massimo. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 12:1(2022), pp. 1444501-1444512. [10.1038/s41598-022-18472-6]

Emotional profiling and cognitive networks unravel how mainstream and alternative press framed AstraZeneca, Pfizer and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Stella, Massimo
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

COVID-19 vaccines have been largely debated by the press. To understand how mainstream and alternative media debated vaccines, we introduce a paradigm reconstructing time-evolving narrative frames via cognitive networks and natural language processing. We study Italian news articles massively re-shared on Facebook/Twitter (up to 5 million times), covering 5745 vaccine-related news from 17 news outlets over 8 months. We find consistently high trust/anticipation and low disgust in the way mainstream sources framed "vaccine/vaccino". These emotions were crucially missing in alternative outlets. News titles from alternative sources framed "AstraZeneca" with sadness, absent in mainstream titles. Initially, mainstream news linked mostly "Pfizer" with side effects (e.g. "allergy", "reaction", "fever"). With the temporary suspension of "AstraZeneca", negative associations shifted: Mainstream titles prominently linked "AstraZeneca" with side effects, while "Pfizer" underwent a positive valence shift, linked to its higher efficacy. Simultaneously, thrombosis and fearful conceptual associations entered the frame of vaccines, while death changed context, i.e. rather than hopefully preventing deaths, vaccines could be reported as potential causes of death, increasing fear. Our findings expose crucial aspects of the emotional narratives around COVID-19 vaccines adopted by the press, highlighting the need to understand how alternative and mainstream media report vaccination news.
2022
1
Semeraro, Alfonso; Vilella, Salvatore; Ruffo, Giancarlo; Stella, Massimo
Emotional profiling and cognitive networks unravel how mainstream and alternative press framed AstraZeneca, Pfizer and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns / Semeraro, Alfonso; Vilella, Salvatore; Ruffo, Giancarlo; Stella, Massimo. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 12:1(2022), pp. 1444501-1444512. [10.1038/s41598-022-18472-6]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
s41598-022-18472-6.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.99 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.99 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/369434
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact