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Ongoing project

Pandemic rhetoric, trust and social media — PAR-TS

Trust between citizens and authorities is a prerequisite to be able to handle the corona crisis. This project analyses how the health authorities communicate in this regard, what role is played by social media and what levels of trust are expressed by citizens.

Project period June 2020 - May 2022
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10470
Project leader Øyvind Ihlen

About the project

Language and rhetoric are central factors in the governmental approach to handling the corona crisis. The project "Pandemic Rhetoric, Trust and Social Media: Risk Communication Strategies and Public Reactions in a Changing Media Landscape" (PAR-TS) will study: 

  1. The current communication strategies of public health authorities. 
  2. The role of social media in the crisis.
  3. Institutional, social and medial reactions in the public in terms of trust, fear and behavioural change. 
  4. Potential risk and crisis communication strategies for future pandemic outbreaks. 


PAR-TS will provide a better understanding of the challenges and conditions of trust and trust-building in risk and crisis communication in the changing media landscape.

The objective is to provide research-based advice to the media, authorities and the public concerning the importance of social media and trust for risk and crisis communication about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

We will aid public agencies to improve communication and suggest tools for ethical, strategic risk communication, addressing public concerns.

The project will also contribute with knowledge about how the co-creative achievement from both authorities' communicative actions and novel and innovative practices by the public can lead to resilience in future risk situations.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Audun Fladmoe Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 924 82 023
Kari Steen-Johnsen Research Professor PhD +47 906 49 417
Dag Wollebæk Research Professor PhD
Øyvind Ihlen (IMK/UiO)
Eli Skogerbø (IMK/UiO)
Petter Bae Brandtzæg (IMK/UiO)
Jannicke Fiskvik SINTEF
Tor Olav Grøtan SINTEF
Peter Halland Haro SINTEF
Per Gunnar Auran SINTEF
Ingeborg S. Aaberge FHI
Christina Rolfheim-Bye FHI
Per Arne Kalbakk NRK
Arne Jensen NR (Norsk redaktørforening)
Nora Clausen Opinion
Tags: Elections and Democracy, Media and the public sphere
Published Dec. 8, 2020 11:57 PM - Last modified Jan. 8, 2021 9:35 AM