COVID-19 in the news: The first 12 months

Feng Kevin Jiang, Ken Hyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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The year 2020 was the year of COVID-19. In this paper we seek to identify the changing concerns of the international press to unfolding events of the COVID pandemic throughout 2020. Based on a 12.3-million-word corpus, we explore keyword nouns and verbs and frequent noun phrases to understand the central concerns of the public reflected in its news media. Results show that news in the early months was dominated by the symptoms of the virus, with items relating to controlling the disease such as guidelines, protocols and, eventually, vaccine, becoming increasingly prominent. Dominant keyword verbs base, infect, and announce concerned different activities associated with reporting the pandemic. This corpus-assisted linguistic description helps guide our reading of the changing public interest in the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-258
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Covid-19
  • noun phrases
  • news discourse
  • keyword verbs

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