Donatella Campus Barbara Saracino

Experts during the pandemic: new celebrities?

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The seriousness and the diffusion of the Covid-19 pandemic led media to refer to scientists, hosted in most TV talk shows and rapidly become familiar to the Italian public. The article intends to explore if at least some of these experts underwent a process of celebrification, analogous to what happens to members of the entertainment industry. Previous studies highlighted the emergence of celebrity scientists in the media environment (Fahy 2015). The article discusses if this concept applies to the Italian experts involved in the media coverage of the pandemic. It assesses their visibility basing on different datasets on press, television and social media. Then it analyses the celebrification process along some dimensions, included intimization and pop-ization of the pandemic communication. The article concludes that the transformation of experts into new celebrities depends either on the characteristics of the Italian media system or in the communication strategies of the political institutions.


  • Covid-19
  • experts
  • pandemic communication
  • celebrification


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