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COVID tracker was most important story in July 2020.

5 min read.

Fiona Lawlor, Research Project Manager

by Fiona Lawlor, Research Project Manager

Core Research

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash


There was a shift homeward in the news stories which received coverage in the month of July. As Ireland was encouraged to maintain the course and contain COVID-19, the news reminded us of our culture, togetherness and spirit by celebrating some key figures of society.


In July, the most significant news story to the public, was the launch of the HSE’s COVID-19 tracker app. The app has since been downloaded by over a third of the population, highlighting the support of the public towards the contact tracing solution. 93% of the population were aware of the app’s launch, and 81% felt it was important to them.

The announcement of the ‘green list’ of countries to which people could travel without restricting their movements was the second highest story to resonate with people. Unsurprisingly, 9 in 10 people (90%) were aware of this announcement, while 3 in 4 (76%) people said it was important.

Sentiment analysis highlights that a quarter of the public felt negative towards this announcement, but half of the population felt positive about the list, and the remaining quarter were neutral. Older families were more likely to feel positive about this news than any other group.

While more (93%) were aware of the Government’s decision to postpone the re-opening of pubs and nightclubs, this was viewed as important by fewer (69% of the population).

The fourth and fifth most significant stories were the deaths of former Irish football manager Jack Charlton, and Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume. 4 in 5 people were aware of these losses (84% and 79% respectively). The majority said they were significant moments to them, highlighting the vastly different, but significant impacts of both men on Irish history.

Other stories in July’s Cultural Index include the Government announcement of a ‘staycation subsidy’ to promote domestic tourism, the overturn of Apple’s €13 billion tax bill, Minister Barry Cowen’s removal from cabinet, the return of GAA football and hurling championships as well as International Test Rugby.

Core’s Cultural Index is developed from a survey of 1,000 people, representative of the Irish adult population. Fieldwork took place between Thursday 6th and Monday 10th August 2020 and was conducted online.




What is the Core Cultural Index?

The Core Cultural Index is a measurement of news stories based on how aware the public are about the stories and how important they believe the story is in their life.

Every month, 1,000 adults, representative of the adult population are asked about 20 news stories – events, conversations or moments – which occurred in the previous month.

Based on how aware people are about the story and the level of importance they attribute to each story, the Cultural Index score is assigned on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score the more the story resonates with the Irish public and informs our culture and the lower the score, the less significant the story is in our lives.

Since 2015, close to 1,000 stories have been analysed across every news category and our analysis has been able to predict growing trends and sentiments towards different sub-cultures and social issues and conversations.

The Core Cultural Index aligned with the Consumer Sentiment Index (also conducted by Core Research) is a powerful tool to understand the wider cultural context of Irish society and the impact it has on individual and household decision making.

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