Reports

Polish online media and vaccines against COVID-19. Which of them gained popularity in the Polish information space? What vaccines have not been mentioned in any article?

In recent months, the Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis has been monitoring selected Polish and Russian online media for information on the coronavirus vaccine. In the first part of the report: “COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces”, the situation in Polish cyberspace in the period: 10.05-04.07.2021 was analyzed.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

The monitoring concerned selected, the most opinion-forming news services in Poland: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl, gazeta.pl. The collected data allowed for a detailed analysis of articles on the recently developed COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination. The texts appearing on the Internet have been analyzed both in terms of quantity and quality.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

The most important conclusions resulting from the research:

- Regardless of the analyzed news portal, the largest number of articles in the analyzed time period (10.05-04.07.2021) concerned mainly vaccines produced in the West, i.e. Pfizer (a total of 685 publications), AstraZeneca (565), Moderna (399) and Johnson & Johnson (321);

- Russian (Sputnik V – 48, EpiVacCorona – 3) and Chinese (Sinovac – 18, Cansino – 17, Sinopharm – 15) preparations attracted much less attention from Polish media;

- No articles on Chinese preparations Convidecia and Vero or the Kazakh QazVac appeared in any of the surveyed news sites;

- With each successive week there was a noticeable downward trend in the number of published articles on coronavirus vaccines;

- Research on the Polish information space conducted between 10.05 and 04.07.2021 shows that the Polish online media showed a neutral attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination. The published articles concerned both the situation in the country and vaccine diplomacy abroad;

- The most popular topic was vaccine-related complications (124 mentions in total), especially the dominant one in May due to reports of deaths in the vaccinated or overdoses of the preparation being injected.

READ THE FULL REPORT: This article is part of the “ COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces” report that we will publish shortly.

Methodology

The Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis on 10.05-29.08.2021 monitored the Polish and Russian information space for information on vaccines against COVID-19. The study used the Pulsar online information monitoring and analysis platform. For the purposes of this analysis, 5 online mainstream media from Poland and Russia were selected. Polish media was selected on the basis of the ranking of the most opinion-forming internet portals in 2020 , with 5 other information portals, bypassing the industry ones: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl and gazeta.pl. Russian media was selected on the basis of the ranking of the most opinion-forming web portals in 2020 with nationwide coverage, available in the Pulsar’s media database: Rbc.ru, Gazeta .ru, Lenta.ru, Kp.ru and Fontanka.ru.

An optimized list of keywords representing the names of individual vaccines or their producers was used for monitoring.

For the Polish information space:

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna OR mRNA-1273 Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCovid-in

For the Russian information space:

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR CanSino-Biologics OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna mRNA-1273 OR Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCанкеке OR енсекеке OR енсекекаЗ Конвиденция OR OR "Джонсон и Джонсон" OR "МодернаПфайзер OR OR OR Синофарм "клетки ВероСиновак OR OR OR Коронавак "Спутник V" OR "Спутник Лайт" OR ЭпиВакКорона КовиВак OR OR OR КазВак КазКовид-ин

In both cases, the same list of vaccines and their producers were used. The differences in the spelling result only from the specificity of both information spaces, the commonality of proper names, and in the case of the Russian information space also the use of English and Russian equivalents of names of vaccines and their producers.

For further analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, only articles with at least one name of the vaccine or producer were selected. Articles in which the name of the vaccine or the producer were included in elements of the website other than the content of the article (e.g. recommended links to other articles) were identified and rejected as false positives and were not included in the article itself. The slogan "Sputnik" turned out to be a methodological challenge, both in the Polish and Russian information space, which, due to its prevalence in terms other than the name of the vaccine, gave relatively many false-positive results. Therefore, double - automatic and manual - verification of all results obtained in the Pulsar platform was used to eliminate articles that did not relate to the topic of COVID-19 vaccines.

Each article was then categorized according to the name of the vaccine or producer that appeared in the publication: AstraZeneca, CanSino, Convidecia, Covaxin, CoviVac, CureVac, EpiVacCorona, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, QazVac, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Vero Cell. An individual article may have been assigned to more than one category. In the case of the Russian information space, the "Sputnik" category has been split into "Sputnik V" and "Sputnik Light". This is due to the prevalence of information about both Russian vaccines in the local media, which does not apply to the Polish media.

Similarly, all articles were assigned to the category: country of producer of individual vaccines. For the purposes of this analysis, a simplified assignment of vaccines and their producers to the producer's country was adopted: AstraZeneca - Great Britain, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax - USA, CureVac - Germany, CoviVac, EpiVacCorona, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light - Russia, QazVac - Kazakhstan, CanSino, Convidecia, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Vero Cell - China, Covaxin - India.

The other categories of analysis are:

- attitude towards vaccines and vaccination against COVID-19 (pro-vaccine products in the case of promoting vaccination, anti-vaccine products in the case of discouraging vaccination, and neutral in the case of informational articles without a label on vaccines);

- reference to the situation in Poland / Russia or abroad in the context of COVID-19 vaccines;

- qualitative analysis related to the content of monitored articles.

The publication is part of the report: ‘COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces’.  This report has been prepared with support from IRI's Beacon Project. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of IRI.

 

Coronavirus in Polish online media – what was the attitude of the most opinion-forming news portals in Poland to COVID-19 vaccines?

Since the invention of the COVID-19 vaccine, many articles have appeared in the Polish information space about vaccination against the coronavirus, the origin of the vaccine, its safety and possible side effects. The Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis carried out a detailed monitoring of the Polish media to take a closer look at the discussion on vaccination in cyberspace. As a result of the analysis of detailed data collected over the last months, a report titled “COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces” was developed.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

For the purposes of the monitoring, five most opinion-forming Internet domains in Poland were selected: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl, gazeta.pl. Selected online media have been tested In terms of the number of articles including information about COVID-19 vaccines. Both quantitative and qualitative research has been carried out.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

The articles appearing in the above-mentioned news websites have been analyzed in terms of theirr attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccine. They were divided into three groups: pro-vaccine, anti-vaccine and neutral. The vast majority, namely over 87% of the analyzed texts (within the 10.05 – 4.07.2021 time frame) were neutral, which means that the news were limited to presenting facts about the vaccine and vaccination against coronavirus, without framing the information in a positive or negative way. The largest number of anti-vaccine articles appeared on the interia.pl portal (37 articles). At the same interia.pl had the highest number of news on this topic in general (296 articles). The gazeta.pl news portal turned out to be the most objective one, as much as 93% of the published articles were neutral.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

During the monitoring process of the Polish information space, a qualitative analysis of the emerging news in terms of their subject matter was also carried out - the analyzed texts were divided into two categories: articles on the situation in Poland and those on international affairs. 52.4% of the studied news concerned the COVID-19 vaccine in the context of Poland. Articles in the wp.pl, wpolityce.pl and gazeta.pl domains focused on the situation in the country more frequently. On the other hand, portals such as onet.pl and interia.pl were more leaning towards covering the international situation.

Research on the Polish information space conducted between 10.05 and 04.07.2021 shows that the Polish online media showed a neutral attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination. The published articles concerned both the situation in the country and vaccine diplomacy abroad.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

READ THE FULL REPORT: This article is part of the “ COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces” report that we will publish shortly.

Methodology

The Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis on 10.05-29.08.2021 monitored the Polish and Russian information space in the context of information on vaccines against COVID-19. The study was conducted using the Pulsar online information monitoring and analysis platform. For the sake of this analysis, 5 online mainstream media from Poland and Russia were selected. Polish media selection was based on the 2020 ranking of the most opinion-forming Internet portals, along with 5 additional information portals, bypassing the industry ones: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl and gazeta.pl. Russian media was selected on the basis of the 2020 ranking of the most opinion-forming Internet portals with nationwide coverage, available in the Pulsar media database: Rbc.ru, Gazeta.ru, Lenta.ru, Kp.ru and Fontanka.ru.

An optimized list of the following keywords representing the names of individual vaccines or their producers was used for monitoring purposes.

For the Polish information space:

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna OR mRNA-1273 Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCovid-in

For the Russian information space: 

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR CanSino-Biologics OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna mRNA-1273 OR Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCанкеке OR енсекеке OR енсекекаЗ Конвиденция OR OR "Джонсон и Джонсон" OR "Модерна" Пфайзер OR OR OR Синофарм "клетки Веро" Синовак OR OR OR Коронавак "Спутник V" OR "Спутник Лайт" OR ЭпиВакКорона КовиВак OR OR OR КазВак КазКовид-ин

In both cases, the same list of vaccines and their producers were used. The differences in the spelling are solely due to the peculiarities of both information spaces, the prevalence of used vaccine names and, in case of the Russian information space, the use of English and Russian equivalents of the names of vaccines and their producers as well.

For further analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, only the news containing at least one name of the vaccine or the producer were selected. Publications in which the name of the vaccine or the producer were included in sections of the website other than the content of the article itself (e.g. recommended links to other articles) were identified and rejected as false positives. The  "Sputnik" keyword turned out to be a methodological challenge both in the Polish and Russian information space, because due to its prevalence in contexts other than the name of the vaccine, this lead to relatively many false positive results. Therefore, it was required to conduct the verification of the results obtained from the Pulsar platform automatically as well as manually, in order to eliminate any news irrelevant to the topic of COVID-19 vaccines.

Each article was then categorized according to the name of the vaccine or a producer that had appeared in the publication: AstraZeneca, CanSino, Convidecia, Covaxin, CoviVac, CureVac, EpiVacCorona, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, QazVac, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V and Vero Cell. Eeach article could have been assigned to more than one category. In case of the Russian information space, the "Sputnik" category had been split into "Sputnik V" and "Sputnik Light" subcategories. This is due to the prevalence of information about both Russian vaccines in the local media, which did not apply to the Polish media.

Similarly, all articles were assigned to the “country of origin of each vaccine producer” category. For the purposes of this analysis, a simplified assignment of vaccines and their producers to the producer's country was adopted: AstraZeneca - Great Britain, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax - USA, CureVac - Germany, CoviVac, EpiVacCorona, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light - Russia, QazVac - Kazakhstan, CanSino, Convidecia, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Vero Cell - China, Covaxin - India.

The other analysis categories are the following:

- an attitude towards vaccines and vaccination against COVID-19 (pro-vaccine news in case of p vaccination vaccine promotion, anti-vaccine ones in case of vaccination discouragement and content with neutral stance towards vaccines);

- a reference to the situation in Poland / Russia or abroad in the context of COVID-19 vaccines;

- a qualitative analysis regarding the content of monitored publications.

The publication is part of the report: ‘COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces’.  This report has been prepared with support from IRI's Beacon Project. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of IRI.

 

 

Covid certificates, the Coronavirus Delta variant, or vaccine side-effects? Which of these topics dominated the Polish online media?

Since the turn of 2019 and 2020, the problem of the COVID-19 epidemic has been widely commented on by the public. New publications on various aspects related to the coronavirus are constantly appearing in the information space. For the purposes of the report: ‘COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces’, selected online media were monitored to examine the exact subject matter of the published articles.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

What issue dominated cyberspace in Poland?

- Complications related to vaccines were the most popular topic during the period under review (124 mentions in total). The vaccine safety debate prevailed in May, due to reports of deaths of the vaccinated or overdose injections.

- In June, public attention focused on the Delta variant of the coronavirus (92), w which appeared in Poland.

- Other widely discussed topics were: restrictions, and especially their easing, announced by the Polish Ministry of Health before the start of the summer holidays.

- In the surveyed online media there were also articles about the so-called covid passports, the functioning of the EU COVID Certificate was also discussed (37).

- The conducted monitoring also showed that in the analyzed period, there were texts on conspiracy theories disseminated by anti-vaccination movements in Poland and around the world (37).

 

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

READ THE FULL REPORT: This article is part of the “ COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces” report that we will publish shortly.

Methodology

The Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis on 10.05-29.08.2021 monitored the Polish and Russian information space in the context of information on vaccines against COVID-19. The study was conducted using the Pulsar online information monitoring and analysis platform. For the sake of this analysis, 5 online mainstream media from Poland and Russia were selected. Polish media selection was based on the 2020 ranking of the most opinion-forming Internet portals, along with 5 additional information portals, bypassing the industry ones: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl and gazeta.pl. Russian media was selected on the basis of the 2020 ranking of the most opinion-forming Internet portals with nationwide coverage, available in the Pulsar media database: Rbc.ru, Gazeta.ru, Lenta.ru, Kp.ru and Fontanka.ru.

An optimized list of the following keywords representing the names of individual vaccines or their producers was used for monitoring purposes.

For the Polish information space:

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna OR mRNA-1273 Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCovid-in

For the Russian information space: 

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR CanSino-Biologics OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna mRNA-1273 OR Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCанкеке OR енсекеке OR енсекекаЗ Конвиденция OR OR "Джонсон и Джонсон" OR "Модерна" Пфайзер OR OR OR Синофарм "клетки Веро" Синовак OR OR OR Коронавак "Спутник V" OR "Спутник Лайт" OR ЭпиВакКорона КовиВак OR OR OR КазВак КазКовид-ин

In both cases, the same list of vaccines and their producers were used. The differences in the spelling are solely due to the peculiarities of both information spaces, the prevalence of used vaccine names and, in case of the Russian information space, the use of English and Russian equivalents of the names of vaccines and their producers as well.

For further analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, only the news containing at least one name of the vaccine or the producer were selected. Publications in which the name of the vaccine or the producer were included in sections of the website other than the content of the article itself (e.g. recommended links to other articles) were identified and rejected as false positives. The  "Sputnik" keyword turned out to be a methodological challenge both in the Polish and Russian information space, because due to its prevalence in contexts other than the name of the vaccine, this lead to relatively many false positive results. Therefore, it was required to conduct the verification of the results obtained from the Pulsar platform automatically as well as manually, in order to eliminate any news irrelevant to the topic of COVID-19 vaccines.

Each article was then categorized according to the name of the vaccine or a producer that had appeared in the publication: AstraZeneca, CanSino, Convidecia, Covaxin, CoviVac, CureVac, EpiVacCorona, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, QazVac, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V and Vero Cell. Eeach article could have been assigned to more than one category. In case of the Russian information space, the "Sputnik" category had been split into "Sputnik V" and "Sputnik Light" subcategories. This is due to the prevalence of information about both Russian vaccines in the local media, which did not apply to the Polish media.

Similarly, all articles were assigned to the “country of origin of each vaccine producer” category. For the purposes of this analysis, a simplified assignment of vaccines and their producers to the producer's country was adopted: AstraZeneca - Great Britain, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax - USA, CureVac - Germany, CoviVac, EpiVacCorona, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light - Russia, QazVac - Kazakhstan, CanSino, Convidecia, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Vero Cell - China, Covaxin - India.

The other analysis categories are the following:

- an attitude towards vaccines and vaccination against COVID-19 (pro-vaccine news in case of p vaccination vaccine promotion, anti-vaccine ones in case of vaccination discouragement and content with neutral stance towards vaccines);

- a reference to the situation in Poland / Russia or abroad in the context of COVID-19 vaccines;

- a qualitative analysis regarding the content of monitored publications.

The publication is part of the report: ‘COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces’.  This report has been prepared with support from IRI's Beacon Project. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of IRI.

 

Polish cyberspace in the face of the coronavirus. Which news sites have published the most articles on vaccines and COVID-19 immunization?

Since May this year, the Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis has been carrying out a detailed monitoring of the most opinion-forming information portals in Poland: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl and gazeta.pl. Data collected between 10.05 and 04.07.2021 has allowed to conduct a thorough analysis of articles published on the Internet in terms of information on the recently invented COVID-19 vaccine. The published texts published on the Internet have been analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

As a result of the research, a report on vaccine diplomacy in Polish and Russian cyberspace was developed. In the first part of the document titled "Vaccines against COVID-19 in Polish and Russian online media: specificity and correlation between the Polish and Russian information space", the situation of Poland was analyzed.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

The most important conclusions:

- During the monitoring process of selected Polish online media, 979 articles containing a mention of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccinations were examined;

- The products of Pfizer producers were by far the most popular ones in the Polish information space (the US-made vaccines weres mentioned in 685 articles, which account for 32.74% of all the news), followed by AstraZeneca (568), Moderna (399) and Johnson & Johnson (321);

- Regardless of an analyzed news portal, the largest number of articles in the analyzed period (10.05-04.07.2021) covered mainly vaccines produced in the West;

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

- Polish media has given much less attention to the products of Russian (Sputnik V – 48, EpiVacCorona – 3) and Chinese origin (Sinovac – 18, Cansino – 17, Sinopharm – 15);

- There were no articles on Chinese Convidecia and Vero vaccines or the Kazakh QazVac in any of the surveyed news outlets. Only the portal interia.pl mentioned the India-made Covaxin;

- It is worth noting that with every passing week there was a noticeable decrease in the number of published articles on coronavirus vaccines. This is especially evident when it comes to the news on Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and J&J vaccines – comparing the May 10-23 and June 21-04.07 timeframes, the amount of news covering these products decreased by an average of 43%.

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

Source: Own elaboration, Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis

READ THE FULL REPORT: This article is part of the “ COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces” report that we will publish shortly.

Methodology

The Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis on 10.05-29.08.2021 monitored the Polish and Russian information space in the context of information on vaccines against COVID-19. The study was conducted using the Pulsar online information monitoring and analysis platform. For the sake of this analysis, 5 online mainstream media from Poland and Russia were selected. Polish media selection was based on the 2020 ranking of the most opinion-forming Internet portals, along with 5 additional information portals, bypassing the industry ones: onet.pl, wp.pl, interia.pl, wpolityce.pl and gazeta.pl. Russian media was selected on the basis of the 2020 ranking of the most opinion-forming Internet portals with nationwide coverage, available in the Pulsar media database: Rbc.ru, Gazeta.ru, Lenta.ru, Kp.ru and Fontanka.ru.

An optimized list of the following keywords representing the names of individual vaccines or their producers was used for monitoring purposes.

For the Polish information space:

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna OR mRNA-1273 Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCovid-in

For the Russian information space: 

AstraZeneca OR Vaxzevria OR "Astra Zeneca" OR CanSino OR CanSino-Biologics OR Convidecia OR Ad5-nCoV OR Covaxin OR BBV152 OR "Bharat Biotech" OR CureVac OR CVnCoV OR Johnson & Johnson OR "Johnson & Johnson" OR J&J OR Jansen OR Janssen OR Moderna mRNA-1273 OR Novavax OR NVX-CoV2373 OR Pfizer OR BioNTech OR BioNTech-Pfizer OR Pfizer-BioNTech OR BNT162 OR Sputnik OR Sinovac OR CoronaVac OR Sinopharm OR Vero OR EpiVacCorona OR CoviVac OR QazVac OR QazCанкеке OR енсекеке OR енсекекаЗ Конвиденция OR OR "Джонсон и Джонсон" OR "Модерна" Пфайзер OR OR OR Синофарм "клетки Веро" Синовак OR OR OR Коронавак "Спутник V" OR "Спутник Лайт" OR ЭпиВакКорона КовиВак OR OR OR КазВак КазКовид-ин

In both cases, the same list of vaccines and their producers were used. The differences in the spelling are solely due to the peculiarities of both information spaces, the prevalence of used vaccine names and, in case of the Russian information space, the use of English and Russian equivalents of the names of vaccines and their producers as well.

For further analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, only the news containing at least one name of the vaccine or the producer were selected. Publications in which the name of the vaccine or the producer were included in sections of the website other than the content of the article itself (e.g. recommended links to other articles) were identified and rejected as false positives. The  "Sputnik" keyword turned out to be a methodological challenge both in the Polish and Russian information space, because due to its prevalence in contexts other than the name of the vaccine, this lead to relatively many false positive results. Therefore, it was required to conduct the verification of the results obtained from the Pulsar platform automatically as well as manually, in order to eliminate any news irrelevant to the topic of COVID-19 vaccines.

Each article was then categorized according to the name of the vaccine or a producer that had appeared in the publication: AstraZeneca, CanSino, Convidecia, Covaxin, CoviVac, CureVac, EpiVacCorona, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, QazVac, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V and Vero Cell. Eeach article could have been assigned to more than one category. In case of the Russian information space, the "Sputnik" category had been split into "Sputnik V" and "Sputnik Light" subcategories. This is due to the prevalence of information about both Russian vaccines in the local media, which did not apply to the Polish media.

Similarly, all articles were assigned to the “country of origin of each vaccine producer” category. For the purposes of this analysis, a simplified assignment of vaccines and their producers to the producer's country was adopted: AstraZeneca - Great Britain, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax - USA, CureVac - Germany, CoviVac, EpiVacCorona, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light - Russia, QazVac - Kazakhstan, CanSino, Convidecia, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Vero Cell - China, Covaxin - India.

The other analysis categories are the following:

- an attitude towards vaccines and vaccination against COVID-19 (pro-vaccine news in case of p vaccination vaccine promotion, anti-vaccine ones in case of vaccination discouragement and content with neutral stance towards vaccines);

- a reference to the situation in Poland / Russia or abroad in the context of COVID-19 vaccines;

- a qualitative analysis regarding the content of monitored publications.

The publication is part of the report: ‘COVID-19 vaccines in Polish- and Russian-language online media outlets: specifics and correlation between them in Polish and Russian information spaces’.  This report has been prepared with support from IRI's Beacon Project. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of IRI.