National Association of Broadcasters
Covering the Coronavirus Pandemic

Broadcasters Keep Communities Informed During Coronavirus Pandemic

In times of emergency, Americans turn to their local radio and television stations first for the most trusted and reliable information to stay safe and informed.

Unlike other communications mediums, broadcasters are on the front lines of a crisis, committed to staying on the air to provide critical information even when their own lives are in danger.

Today, despite facing the same economic challenges as other sectors, local broadcasters are providing their communities with accurate and timely information on COVID-19 on every platform – on air, online and on social media. Here are examples of how local stations are working to stay on the air and keep the public informed.

U.S. Capitol

NAB asks policymakers to ensure that broadcasters are able to remain on the air during this public health crisis. Support the Local News and Emergency Information Act to allow broadcasters to seek relief under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and fund federal advertising on local media. Read more.



Local stations have aired more than $150 million worth of NAB’s radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish informing audiences how they can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

30-Second Television PSA (English)

Click Here to View, Hear and Download PSAs »

Examples of Broadcasters' Commitment

Examples of Broadcasters' Commitment

  • Broadcast stations are airing as many as 30 PSAs per station, per day to educate the public on prevention.
  • Since March 12, TV and radio stations have aired the NAB PSAs more than 720,000 times for an estimated ad value of more than $150 million.
  • One small television station group provided nearly $400,000 in free airtime to COVID-19 education in a single week.
  • One large television station group aired more than $6 million in airtime for COVID-19 PSAs before April 30.
  • Several radio stations, including music stations, are providing hourly updates exclusively on COVID-19.
  • Radio and television stations are creating special content in all dayparts to allow medical personnel to educate the public.
  • Many TV stations are extending local nightly news by 30 minutes and local morning news by one hour to cover the issue more extensively.
  • Many stations are running crawls and live coverage of all local, state and federal press conferences on air and online.
  • Several stations have replaced daily local lifestyle shows with COVID-19 focused local news.
  • Many stations have created special websites and streaming coverage to reach both English and Spanish speaking audiences with critical information.
  • Local stations are offering phone banks on COVID-19. One station fielded over 1,000 calls in a single day.
  • Broadcast networks are expanding nightly news programming and delaying evening comedy talk shows.
Toolkit for Broadcasters

Toolkit for Broadcasters

NAB is providing stations with tools and resources, including PSAs, to help stations continue their operations and stay on the air, as well as accurately cover COVID-19 and prepare for the impact on their communities.


Press Coverage

Broadcasters are providing breaking news and developments as they happen. Stations are adding additional news to their daily programming to keep communities informed with trusted, reliable information.

Click Here to Read Stories »

Social Media

Social Media

Broadcasters are using social media to provide accurate around-the-clock coverage of the pandemic, including live streaming government press conferences.

Click Here to View Updates »

Emergency Communications

Emergency Communications

Broadcasters serve as the backbone of the Emergency Alert System which, in addition to providing resilient, reliable communications pathways to Americans for local emergency managers, can also be utilized on a nationwide basis by the President.

As the public need for information on COVID-19 continues, local broadcast stations and their network partners will continue to help educate the public on prevention and treatment, social distancing and flattening the curve.

When America needs trusted and reliable information, broadcasters are there.

© 2022 National Association of Broadcasters   Privacy Policy | Terms of Use