TOM I. “Best advice: peace of mind and information”. How TVP1’s “Wiadomości” protected Poland against the coronavirus

The research aimed at qualitative and quantitative analysis of the mode of information on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the main news programme of the public television in Poland, in the period from its emergence in Europe until 4th March, 2020 (first patient diagnosed in Poland). The theoretical context of this study referred to the legal and organisational status of public service media in Poland, their politicisation, and the decrease of the public trust in these media. The qualitative research method was applied – content analysis. The research sample consisted of 51 news items concerning the coronavirus, published in 29 editions of the programme. In the conclusions, the changes in the way of presenting pandemic information were described: they corresponded to the increasing threat, including the risk of first infections in Poland. Objective elements of the news construction and content were found, as well as a few elements confirming their politicisation.

Key words: content analysis, COVID-19, news programme, public service media, Wiadomości