Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): Media & Social Communication
In 2020, the world faced many challenges connected with the coronavirus pandemic. When lockdowns were introduced by governments, people were forced to adapt to the new conditions and change many of their existing behaviors. Work and education went online, the closure of shopping malls forced popular brands to develop online stores, and telemedicine has become standard practice – a test to IT solutions that had been so far slowly introduced in Poland. Culture, sport, entertainment, and even politics also went online, as exemplified by the presidential elections in the United States and Poland. The changes affected the media and social communication as well, which is why we would like to begin this issue of Com.press with four papers focusing on various aspects of the impact the epidemic has on the broadly understood social communication.
The issue begins with an interesting paper by Jakub Kocjan that raises the issue of the role of the media during the "pandemic" presidential elections in the United States. The author analyzes the broadcasting of the election results in November 2020 – a process that took an exceptionally long time to complete because of the introduction of postal voting due to the pandemic. Jakub Kocjan concludes that the traditional media behaved in a responsible manner by not taking any candidate’s side during the unprecedented strife between candidates and the premature announcement of the winner. He also highlights the role of social media as a platform for direct communication between candidates and voters.
With many bans and restrictions related to the pandemic in place, a more and more significant role is played by groups of people who oppose the changes and even doubt the existence of the pandemic itself, known as "coronavirus skeptics". Their communication on social media forums is analyzed by Karina Veltzé. In her paper entitled Denial as a Form of Adjusting to a Crisis Situation: Conspiracy Theories about the Coronavirus Pandemic among Internet Communities, she presents the results of a quantitative analysis and a content analysis of Facebook groups that focus on coronavirus skepticism and anti-vaccine issues.
The pandemic also affected sport and communication between sportsmen and their fans. Artur Babicz analyzes the changes in the ways speedway clubs communicate with their fans in social media after watching competitions live was banned due to the epidemiological threat. What is more, Wojciech Skucha analyzes how the pandemic influenced the viewership of sports events on Polish television and describes how the media adapted the coverage of sports events to the new conditions.
Apart from the papers devoted to the coronavirus pandemic, the current issue of Com.press also includes several interesting papers concerning other media-related topics. Anna Bielecka analyzes the use of the marketing strategy called storytelling in social campaigns and commercial advertisements. She conducts case studies of advertisements of several international corporations and distinguishes key constitutional elements of storytelling in building a narrative. Then, Justyna Jarocka draws the readers’ attention to the problem of cybercrime. In her paper, she focuses in particular on the issue of computer wiretapping in the context of the privacy of communication. Dominika Saad, on the other hand, presents very interesting methodological considerations on the subject of online surveys. She identifies the main sources of low-quality data in this type of research, which include careless responses, form-fill bots activity, and fraudulent behavior of manipulating IP addresses. Finally, we also publish a review by Łukasz Flak of the book by Piotr Tomasz Nowakowski entitled Fast Food for the Brain: On Television and Related Issues.
Enjoy the reading!