The Impact of COVID-19 on the Education Media Landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended learning as we know it. And education headlines have followed suit. In a matter of weeks, the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on education have dominated headlines and coverage of education technology surged. Reporters were challenged to take on entirely new issues and beats.

To help understand how COVID-19 has impacted the education media landscape, the W/A research team performed an analysis of education coverage in mainstream outlets and trade publications for February and March 2020.

Some Topline Findings

  • February and March 2020 coverage reflected a historic downward trend. On top of the overall decline in coverage, coverage shifted to coronavirus beginning in March, with 10x more coverage of education and coronavirus in mainstream outlets in March compared to February.

  • Edtech coverage in mainstream outlets ballooned in March, as schools and institutions were forced to shift toward online delivery models. There was nearly 70% more coverage of edtech in mainstream outlets in March 2020 compared to March 2019. 

The complete analysis can be accessed here. On April 28, we hosted a webinar discussing the analysis with Greg Toppo, W/A’s reporter in residence, and Caroline Hendrie, executive director of the Education Writers Association. A recording of the webinar can be accessed here.