Radio: The medium that is best dealing with the COVID-19 crisis

May 19, 2020

During lockdown, the Media Psychology Lab, directed by Emma Rodero, a lecturer with the UPF Department of Communication, has conducted a study on the listening habits, consumption, credibility and psychological impact of the radio in the COVID-19 crisis. Everything indicates that radio sets the bar quite high with its treatment of the crisis.

Radio in company and more listening

Before, radio was consumed individually, but during lockdown, it has begun to be listened to in company, like in the olden days, and either via the traditional device or through new technologies, such as smart speakers or smartphones and tablets. People listen while performing other tasks such as cleaning or cooking, so it mainly takes place in the living-room followed by the kitchen. Average radio consumption time has increased by almost one point. Now, people are listening more to the radio and to a wider variety of stations. The consumption of podcasts and audiobooks has also risen slightly.

Radio is the most credible medium

Radio stands as the most credible information medium. Listeners find radio the most impartial, most neutral and most trustworthy medium, in line with other studies that reflect this. Yet, television is the medium to which most people resort for getting informed.

Radio is a medium that entertains and makes the listener feel they are accompanied

Radio is playing a very important role during lockdown, psychologically speaking. Listeners say that sadness, fear and anxiety are the emotions most intensely experienced during the crisis, but radio is helping to alleviate these feelings. Listeners consider radio as being the medium that best entertains them, the friendliest, and that most stimulates their imagination. This means that listeners feel more in company and consequently, the feeling of sadness diminishes.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Barcelona

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