Latvian media space shifts focus from Covid to war: LETA

The theme currently prevailing in Latvia's mass media room is the war in Ukraine. According to the agency LETA's media monitoring database, it is still lagging behind last year's central theme, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the restrictions on combating it, LETA said April 20.

In the beginning of autumn last year, the most described event in Latvia's media was the nearly month-long “lockdown” introduced on October 21 evening. This year, however, the most attention of Latvian mass media was paid to what was revealed in the city of Bucha and Borodianka, followed by the closure of Russian consulates in Daugavpils and Liepāja.

According to LETA, the theme of war in the media area appeared much earlier than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the massive attempts to cross the Belarus border illegally, which was soon called a hybrid war.

In March, the number of media publications related to refugees also increased significantly, mainly related to the development of refugee support centers in Riga and the possibility for Ukrainian war refugees to find homes and jobs in Latvia.

In general, most publications in Latvian media are currently devoted to the theme of war, followed by issues such as prices and inflation, gas, sanctions, refugees and still Covid-19. Only then do other issues appear: environment and climate, employment, and pay.

Publications with a mention of the subject of war since the end of February have ranged from an average of 400 to 800 per day in Latvian media to over 1000 on some days. Prices and inflation are mentioned on average in 200 to 500 publications a day. Gas and fuel are mentioned in an average of 200 to 400 publications a day.  Meanwhile, the number of publications mentioning Covid-19 has fallen sharply since the beginning of February, but still varies between an average of 200 and 600 publications a day.

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