One Big Thing: American Media in the Age of Coronavirus
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What is it?
- Over the past few weeks, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Americans’ consumption of news has skyrocketed. A recent survey shows that most Americans have increased their news consumption since the start of the outbreak as sports leagues and Hollywood have stopped their media production.
- As American’s news consumption rises, criticism of reporters and press credibility have simultaneously risen. Coronavirus has taken every news headline around the world and many outlets have been criticized for reporting the facts about the virus’s origin, spread, and some countries’ inadequate responses.
- Generally, the current administration officials, amongst others, has criticized particular journalists and news outlets for doing their jobs - asking critical questions during times of crisis to educate the public on the government’s response.
Why is it important?
- This is important because press freedom and credibility are important tenants of democracy, especially in a public health crisis. Especially during a public health crisis, a free and trustworthy media space will help keep elected officials accountable to their citizens and is an important mechanism for governmental transparency.
- Marist’s poll shows that 3 in 4 democrats and republicans trust the news’ reporting and trust information about coronavirus from state and local government demonstrating that American are looking for fact based information and strong leadership.
What can you do?
- It is important to keep in mind that the best sources are health organizations like the CDC and the WHO. Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center remains an excellent site for factual information about Covid-19
- If you think you have been exposed to Coronavirus and develop symptoms, immediately call your healthcare provider for medical advice. You should take the appropriate steps to prevent spreading the disease to those around you.
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