University of Maryland researchers are joining with more than a dozen other universities in the United States and Canada, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia to launch a global study of how undergraduate and graduate students are using media during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anecdotally we hear that college students around the world are turning to mainstream and social media to track information about the pandemic, but perhaps even more importantly, they are reaching out to social media—especially visual media—to seek companionship and to build community in ways otherwise unavailable to them while they are isolated and ‘sheltering at home,’” said Susan Moeller, professor, director of the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and co-principal investigator of the study.
“The COVID-19 study is a way for researchers to discover what is happening around the world: To what extent are media part of the solution to the challenges faced by young people … but how much are media also part of the problem?”
Many countries and communities have levied different directives related to COVID-19, particularly regarding physical or social distancing. They also have distinctions in the type and quantity of media accessed and available.
The survey aims to capture data to understand media use, daily routines and creation of community. It will also provide data related to the degree to which individuals have been personally affected by the pandemic.
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