WASHINGTON—Just as local broadcasters played an important role in providing information at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, now they are working to help spread the word about vaccines as the NAB has announced a partnership with Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on a nationwide research project with the goal of identifying effective COVID-19 vaccine education messaging.
The research project, conducted by SmithGeiger, is meant to help develop tools and resources for local radio and television broadcasters, as well as other journalists, to craft public health messages and educational programming for their communities. It will do so by surveying the informational needs of news consumers in the context of the current cultural, political and pandemic environment to understand how media coverage influences attitudes toward and actions taken regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
NAB and RJI say they will use the findings to produce a toolkit for local broadcasters that provides messaging guidance focused on a local and regional approach, rather than a single national message. The toolkit will include regional research findings, sample messaging and suggested tactics, with all resources available in English and Spanish and shared with all local radio and TV stations, as well as partner groups that represent broadcasters serving culturally diverse communities.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, America’s hometown radio and TV stations have been on the front lines in providing accurate and trusted information to keep communities informed, educated and safe,” said Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO. “Now, with the promise of vaccines on the horizon, broadcasters will once again be a critical partner to government and health communities. We are dedicated to using our platforms to encourage the public to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors by getting inoculated.”
The toolkit is expected to be released in early 2021.
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