The main aim of this study was to know the role of digital information and communication channels in developing citizens’ understanding regarding COVID-19 with reference to situation awareness. Furthermore, the impact of gender, age, qualification and area of respondents on citizens' perception and comprehension of COVID-19 was also investigated.
This quantitative study used an online survey and received 377 usable responses. The instrument was developed with the help of literature, and it was based on two constructs (perception of the element and comprehension of the current situation) of the situational awareness (SA) model. Data were collected from Pakistani citizens through a convenient sampling technique.
It was observed that the majority of citizens used electronic media, Facebook and WhatsApp for accessing COVID-19-related information. World Health Organization website played an important role in developing citizens’ understanding. Alert messages through mobile phone and apps played role in developing citizen’s understanding regarding COVID-19 situation. They perceived that media was effective in providing social distancing techniques. Moreover, they believed that government campaigns were helpful. Findings revealed that there was no significant impact of gender, age, qualification and area on citizens' perceptions and comprehension of COVID-19 through media.
This study is helpful for authorities in decision-making regarding COVID-19 and also filled the literature gap as, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no comprehensive study has been conducted regarding the SA of COVID-19.
Khalid, A., Warraich, N.F. and Ali, I. (2023), "Digital information channels during the COVID-19 global health emergency through a situational awareness lens: a study of Pakistani citizens", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/GKMC-09-2022-0219
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