On 1 May 2020, South Africa relaxed its lockdown restrictions from level 5 to level 4 allowing for businesses in some industries to resume trading within predefined lockdown conditions. Media coverage analysis shows that South Africa is faced with tough times ahead, as restrictions are set to continue while the country remains in lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

COVID-19 Media Coverage - Daily Volume of Coverage - 29 April to 5 May 2020
COVID-19 Media Coverage – Daily Volume of Coverage – 29 April to 5 May 2020

Amidst uncertainty around the altered lockdown restrictions, media coverage points to a lack of clarity around why some industries cannot resume trade. One of the areas coming under the spotlight in this latest research, alongside the economic impact of Covid-19, is the decision by the Department of Basic Education to reopen schools under level 4. The current plan is phase in Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils from 1 June, 2020.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Radio and TV coverage account for 18% of media items this week and these continue to be ones with the most reach across South Africa.[/perfectpullquote]

Social media discussions mirror the media’s uncertainty around what permits are required and whether everyone returning to work needs a permit. Some images have since surfaced on social media where some people were show to not observe social distancing. These are some of the conversation trends that emerged in the past seven days.

READ: COVID-19 coronavirus dominates the media in South Africa

The sixth edition of the weekly Covid-19 media research and analysis by Ornico includes a sample of 4773 media items collected from online, print and broadcast sources from 29 April to 5 May 2020. Radio and TV coverage account for 18% of media items this week and these continue to be ones with the most reach across South Africa. Online platforms take the lead at just over 76% of total news items, which includes some that have been repurposed from print by some of the leading media outlets.

READ: COVID-19 news coverage in South Africa shows increase in online media stories

Brand Intelligence® firm Ornico has committed its resources to assist the communication industry and will be working closely with the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) and other industry role players to help understand reportage around the pandemic. This will help professional communicators to improve critical messaging and to direct it to relevant audiences.

Follow Ornico on Twitter and the company website for weekly updates and ongoing research.

COVID-19 infographic - 29 April-5 May 2020
COVID-19 infographic – 29 April-5 May 2020


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Ornico provides reputation, media, advertising and brand research with a suite of products that includes Brand Intelligence® across the African continent. It does this to help marketers and brand owners make sense of the flood of information that occupies traditional and social media.

By collecting and analysing media data across many channels, Ornico informs brand owners and marketing decision makers about the most important strategic decisions they’ll ever make regarding their brands.

From editorial and advertising monitoring services, social media analytics to advanced brand research, Ornico provides a holistic and independent view of brand performance as reflected by television, radio, print media as well as social and digital media.


Mongezi Mtati, Marketing Manager at OrnicoGroup
Mobile: +27 83 757 3163
Landline: +27 11 884 5041
Email: mongezim@ornicogroup.co.za

Oresti Patricios, CEO at OrnicoGroup

Mobile: +27 83 326 2250
Landline: +2711 884 5041
Email: oresti@ornicogroup.co.za
Twitter: @Orestaki

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