Analysis of historical reasoning

Corvus Historical Consultancy analysed the Flemish media coverage during the first two and a half months of the Corona crisis. We gathered all virus-related articles and checked them for historical references. Those citations were categorized according to historical topic and subsequently quantitatively and qualitatively analysed.

Approach

Risk awareness guidelines

Results

The analysis showed an overall pattern regarding the Flemish media coverage of COVID-19 and major differences between individual news outlets. Through this information, Corvus advised its client on how to avoid conclusions based on flawed historical reasoning. We also created awareness about how the coverage of different media should be interpreted.

COVID-19 media coverage

Problem

During the COVID-19 pandemic, public media relied heavily on historical analogies. Question was how these references to the past influenced the early coverage of the pandemic and what the associated risks were. This remained an open question for the client: did history help to explain what was happening or did the easy comparisons hide vital information?