Food Security in Puerto Rico: A Media Content Analysis During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Javier Medina Sanchez
Graduate (MS)
Mary Rodriguez
Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

Javier Medina Sanchez / Rafael Quijada Landaverde / Dr. Mary T Rodriguez

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected food security and access to sufficient and healthy food around the world. Several projections show that the pandemic will prevent achieving the goal of eliminating food insecurity and hunger by 2030. The media have a primary responsibility to report local and global changes resulting from the pandemic. The purpose of this study was to understand how the media spread information about food security in Puerto Rico during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this qualitative content analysis, 49 articles were selected in the newspaper with the highest circulation on the island. The items were selected within the period from March to December 2020. The results show a trend due to the dissemination of inconsistent statistics on the impacts of COVID-19 on food security in Puerto Rico. For the most part, news articles display projections of worsening food security conditions shortly. The items lack information on mechanisms to address and mitigate food insecurity in the Puerto Rican context. This study suggests exploring the role of the media in eliminating food security in Puerto Rico. It is recommended to analyze informative articles from other print and digital media to complete a holistic analysis of the information disseminated in Puerto Rico.