Vol. 11 No. 2 (2020): Media and education in the pandemic age of COVID-19
Articles

Il virus incontrollato dell’infodemia

Igor Scognamiglio
Dipartimento di Scienze formative, psicologiche e della comunicazione, Università degli studi di Napoli “Suor Orsola Benincasa”
Diana Salzano
Dipartimento di Studi Politici e Sociali, Università degli Studi di Salerno
Published November 2, 2020
Keywords
  • Covid19,
  • infondemic,
  • iper-thematization,
  • two steps flow of communication online,
  • digital education

Abstract

The aim of the present paper is to argue, from a critical perspective, the theme of fake news and online misinformation about Covid19 disease and to investigate the role of infodemic (developed in mainstream and online communication) in determining a difficult management of behaviors and emotions. Moreover, the paper aims to investigate the role of the new opinion leaders of online communication (more experienced users or communicators at the service of mainstream information agencies), able to facilitate the interpretation of events. These particular types of stakeholders breathe new life into the “two steps flow of communication” model theorized by Katz and Lazarsfeld (1955). Furthermore, through the thought of Castells and the agenda setting paradigm, the paper emphasizes the role of the media construction of news and of the theming and indexing processes in the representation of the Covid19 epidemic. In this regard, the infodemic is analyzed as a hyper-thematization process. The news framing operation about the Coronavirus disease is important to understand how fear spreads and how much is fondamental the role of media (and digital) education to properly manage news.