How We Got Here: The Media’s Role in the Coronavirus

Source: NBC News

“The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment. It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives.” We have likely all heard this quote by now, said by Surgeon General Jerome Adams in the airing of “Meet the Press”. Adams along with many other government officials have asked the American people to brace for our toughest week yet as we all attempt to flatten the infamous curve.

The media plays an interesting role within this all as all advances and good news are met with more warnings and increased cases. The article cites that the press’s role within this all is vital, “to hold the powerful to account, while being sure to produce the most reliable information based on facts and science”.

One of the major issues cited through the media was the denial and lack of forthcomingness about the Coronavirus in the United States. It took the Trump administration 70 days to acknowledge that the Coronavirus was more than a distant threat. The Daily Show’s clip showing major on and off air commentators downplaying and dismissing the virus and the need for people to take action to stop its spread. As an example, Tomi Lahren of FOX joked that “she would be more concerned stepping on a heroin needle than getting the coronavirus”. The blind trust that many people place on the opinions in media creates a major issue.

These missteps have opened up an examination of the media and the role it has to play in relating fully and truly. There is also an opportunity for different news platforms to step up to be a consistent source of unbiased, honest, and evidence based information during a time of so much uncertainty.

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