From advice on mask wearing and vaccines to raising awareness around mental health and domestic violence, university experts were read, seen or heard up to eight billion times between 1 February 2020 and 31 January 2021.
The analysis, commissioned by Universities Australia and compiled by media intelligence organisation Isentia, highlights the role that expert advice played in contributing to better health outcomes.
The report says the advice on mask wearing in particular “served to normalise the behaviour and so contributed to a consensus about their use in Australia.”
The new research shows how Australians turned to trusted university experts during the crisis.
University-based experts explained everything from the goal of flattening the curve, to the mathematics of social distancing, and the dynamics of panic buying. And, in doing so, they helped us navigate the disruption and uncertainty.
The Isentia research also found that in March last year a third of all stories on vaccines, along with one in every five stories on masks and one in 10 stories on lockdowns included the voice of university experts.