Alta UACh students collaborate in research on media in pandemic

How have children and young people been experiencing the pandemic? This is one of the questions posed by the Institute of Data and Artificial Intelligence of the University of Chile, which carried out a nationwide study in which students from the Alta UACh School of Academic Talents participated.

One of the starting points of the research was to understand the effects of the messages transmitted by the media, which mostly attributed the increase in coronavirus infections to the irresponsibility of young people.

The team that addressed this matter was made up of Lionel Brossi (Faculty of Communication and Image, University of Chile and the Millennium Nucleus to Improve the Mental Health of Adolescents and Young People, Imhay), María Jesús Ibáñez Canelo (Faculty of Communication and Image, Universidad From Chile).

They were joined by Tamara Hoffmann (Universidad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Millennium Nucleus to improve the mental health of adolescents and young people, Imhay), Ana María Castillo (Faculty of Communication and Image, University of Chile) and Sandra Cortesi (Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich).

Due to the restrictions of the health crisis, between March 2020 and March 2021 workshops were held online. The participants were summoned through social networks, mainly Instagram.

Likewise, the psychologist Tamara Hoffman promoted the integration of Alta UACh, an institution where she worked as a coordinator and professor for five years. This allowed a much greater territorial representation of the southern zone with children and young people from the twelve communes of the Los Ríos Region and Castro in the Los Lagos Region.

This is how “Youth, media and public discourse during the pandemic in Chile” took shape, a qualitative and quantitative study.

“I found it interesting to consider the opinions of the students from Alta UACh because they belong to two regions and because they are also from rural and urban sectors,” explained Tamara Hoffman.

And he added: “When the pandemic began, the media began with a speech in which young people were blamed for not complying with sanitary measures. Then the question arose as to whether or not this could be true; and the need to know what were they perceiving”.

In order to obtain answers, there were days of dialogues with directed questions and an open reflection on issues such as, for example, the affectation caused by the messages transmitted by the media. The interaction via the web was without interrupting the regular class schedules in educational establishments and in Alta UACh.

Along with valuing and thanking the participation of the School for Academic Talents, Tamara Hoffmann highlights the importance of the study.

“The instance was a space for catharsis of situations experienced in different geographical spaces. Thanks to the testimonies of Alta UACh students, it was possible to understand that the experience of the pandemic in the countryside has turned out to be very different from what can happen in urban sectors, where a greater degree of confinement and anguish has been perceived ”, he says .

And he adds: “Emotional exhaustion is another element described by children and young people who had to undergo the situation of having online classes with the impediment of seeing their classmates and teachers for a long period of time. They were subjected to a system that was never thought about them, but rather about achieving performance from an academic point of view.”

The article “Youth, media and public discourse during the pandemic in Chile” was published by the University of Heidelberg. It is part of a larger project that seeks to compare the national reality with what has been happening in the rest of Latin America.

Among the conclusions, it reads:

“Participants reported that, throughout the pandemic, the media, especially television, have changed their information strategy. They perceive that at first information about the pandemic and preventive measures was provided, but over time, the information content and the construction of the news became increasingly sensational, inducing fear and, consequently, greater disinterest among young people. for the news about the pandemic.”

“In relation to how the participants understand the notion of well-being, it was observed that their notions and reflections are elaborated more from a collective perspective than an individual one, in what refers to physical, cognitive and emotional well-being. That is, both their practices and their perception of their own well-being are related to a very present “other” who is recognized both as an agent that affects their well-being -in a complex sense- and as a subject affected by their own practices. Thus, well-being is understood as a state and a relational act that focuses mainly on the dimensions of personal care –or the lack of it– and the care of others”.

Promotion program celebrated 13 years since its first implementation.

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They received financial support from the Los Ríos Regional Council to strengthen activities during the remainder of the year.

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The degree thesis was written by Aurora Bertín, Fabián Castañeda, Valentina Campos and Alondra Carrasco.

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School of academic talents is in its fall season with 74 courses and laboratories where students from Los Ríos and Los Lagos participate. Management of new spaces and institutional alliances are part of the process that is advancing with positive results.

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Alta UACh students collaborate in research on media in pandemic – Diario Futrono