The Representation of the First COVID-19 Case in Jordan in News Outlets

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During pandemics, health discourse cannot be separated from media discourse, which usually exercises its power to deliver particular ideological and political perspectives through the content it presents. This study aimed to investigate the coverage of the first case of COVID-19 in Jordan in local and nonlocal Arabic news outlets. It shed light on the potential ideologies reflected in the news headlines and articles. To achieve the objectives of the study, eight local and fourteen nonlocal news articles tackling the first case of COVID-19 in Jordan on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2020 were collected and analyzed in light of Van Dijk’s critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach. The results showed that the nonlocal news headlines and articles included words with negative connotations that may create resentment and spread panic among citizens. On the other hand, in local news outlets, reassuring phrases were used by focusing on the government’s procedures and distancing Jordan from the country where the virus widely spread, namely, Italy.