The media and Covid-19: making a bad situation worse

Covid - 19 is obviously a serious matter. However, I contend the media (print, broadcast and online) is making it much worse.

At a time when we need people to be calm, the media is picking up the stories which make things seem bad, and constantly repeating them - queues at a wholesaler; empty shelves; one fight over a toilet roll shown over and again. Panic buying is a creation of the media - fodder for a 24 hour news cycle. The media creates the scenes it wants to portray - life imitating art.

Worse, the media is in my view actively seeking to undermine government advice - point scoring in some cases. Agenda-driven in others: The Guardian for example seeing an opportunity to politicise the Covid outbreak, with a view to seeing the fall of the government.

We obviously need a free press. We need a diversity of thought and opinion. There are times (now) where we also need the media to behave responsibly; to recognise and work towards the national interest. To support HMG even, in what is and should remain a non-political issue.

How can the media improve how it handles Covid?

Is this an issue? Do we need broadcasters to help the country, or just to chase ratings and content?
 

OneTenner

War Hero
Book Reviewer
I agree with you, however, what needs to be clamped down on is the myths, lies and fantasies on (anti)social media, without that, no amount of corrective action on the traditional hacks will help.
 
I agree with you, however, what needs to be clamped down on is the myths, lies and fantasies on (anti)social media, without that, no amount of corrective action on the traditional hacks will help.
Excellent point. I think the MSM is feeding into that by being so doubtful about the HMG line. It can't help challenging the govt line.
That said, Twitter, Facebook is alarmist and very badly informed. There is some seriously wrong stuff being put out, shared, and believed.
 
You only need to worry when you see Typhoid Sally (Lockwood) Sky News - The Angel of Death, you will really know then that death on your street is imminent.

Archie
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Excellent point. I think the MSM is feeding into that by being so doubtful about the HMG line. It can't help challenging the govt line.
Inevitable when the Government line is incoherent. "Herd immunity is desirable although your gran might die!" morphs into "avoid all unnecessary social contact with people" within the metaphorical blinking of the eye.

If HMG are seen to be blindly flailing about, the press need to report it.
 
Gerrards Cross Tesco had a delivery of toilet roll this morning.

All gone by 1730.

Daily Wail website is total wall to wall Corona panic.

First 6 pages of The Times totally devoted to Corona and a 1 hour BBC news special that I turned off after 5 minutes.

You can't beat a bit of panic to sell newspapaers and media advertising.
 
If we had MSM in existence in the 30's and 40's we would never have won the war .... regrettably the BBC are not covering themselves with glory .... I now use Reuters as my primary web site for news because they seem to give a balanced , calm and sober report on events
 
Inevitable when the Government line is incoherent. "Herd immunity is desirable although your gran might die!" morphs into "avoid all unnecessary social contact with people" within the metaphorical blinking of the eye.

If HMG are seen to be blindly flailing about, the press need to report it.
That is a valid point. The detail of that speech - the medical and scientific advice - got less coverage than the headline. The speech could have been seen as being honest, or as evidence of a flawed response. The media concentrated on the latter (and in fairness the PM's blunt message enabled that) but missed or ignored that the CMO, etc said that the approach could well change, that there wasn't necessarily a right or wrong way.
 
If we had MSM in existence in the 30's and 40's we would never have won the war .... regrettably the BBC are not covering themselves with glory .... I now use Reuters as my primary web site for news because they seem to give a balanced , calm and sober report on events
We'd have not won the war due to not enough people wanting to care or fight for it. The MSM is but a small part of that.
 

Ritch

LE
I've said since the outbreak in China that the media are panicking people and scaremongering.

I saw a Daily Mirror headline the other day. "Coronavirus mutates: This Is How Many Will Die". It was full of nonsense rambling and claiming the UK will see at least 40000 deaths.
 

Offa

War Hero
A journalist acquaintance who works on an online edition of a regional paper admitted that the system encourages alarmist headlines - each article has a target to achieve for 'clicks'. Objectivity no longer a requirement and Project Fear is now modus operandi. I imagine viewing figures play a similar role to 'clickety click'.
 
If we had MSM in existence in the 30's and 40's we would never have won the war .... regrettably the BBC are not covering themselves with glory .... I now use Reuters as my primary web site for news because they seem to give a balanced , calm and sober report on events
Reuters is very good. The BiL used to be the partner at DeLoittes responsible for managing a vast part of their annual accounts reporting. I can't speak for nowadays, but back then they were considered more of a private intelligence agency (nuff said) who only used to report factual turns of events rather than news stories. The newspapers and telly news channels used to get their initial whiff of an event from Reuters and then either send their own reporter along to cover the event, or send a locally based individual on retainer (most likely on retainer with half a dozen telly channels and 10 newspapers).

I worked with Public Info in HQNI for a couple of years and discovered very rapidly that most reporters, not all, do not report events, they tell stories.
 
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Something more bemusing is social media giving the hard of thinking a platform to regurgitate statuses that are absent of critical thought.

In tandem with the MSM, a little bit of knowledge absent the cognisance to critically put that information into context is more dangerous than complete ignorance.
 
Reuters is very good. The BiL used to be the managing partner of DeLoittes responsible for a vast part of their annual accounts reporting. I can't speak for nowadays, but back then they were considered more of a private intelligence agency (nuff said) who only used to report factual turns of events rather than news stories. The newspapers and telly news channels used to get their initial whiff of an event from Reuters and then either send their own reporter along to cover the event, or a locally based individual on retainer (most likely on retainer with half a dozen telly channels and 10 newspapers).

I worked with Public Info in HQNI for a couple of years and discovered very rapidly that most reporters, not all, do not report events, they tell stories.
Most journalists these days seem to be Dylan Thomas grief fest walts.
 
Something more bemusing is social media giving the hard of thinking a platform to regurgitate statuses that are absent of critical thought.

In tandem with the MSM, a little bit of knowledge absent the cognisance to critically put that information into context is more dangerous than complete ignorance.
True.
(I have taken this point - it is not mine, but it is good) The same platforms that gave a voice to anti-vaxers, are now wailing for a vaccine.
And the conspiracy theories are out of control.
Against that background, the media could be being more level-headed.
 
Covid - 19 is obviously a serious matter. However, I contend the media (print, broadcast and online) is making it much worse.

At a time when we need people to be calm, the media is picking up the stories which make things seem bad, and constantly repeating them - queues at a wholesaler; empty shelves; one fight over a toilet roll shown over and again. Panic buying is a creation of the media - fodder for a 24 hour news cycle. The media creates the scenes it wants to portray
Did anyone else happen to see Piers Morgan's near on hysterical pantomine on breakfast TV this morning? Jesus... he was a thousand worst than what he usually is. Even his thick as shite, and woke as feck co-presenter Susanna Reid had to tell him to STFU and let their resident medical expert Dr Hillary explain things.
Genuinely it seemed to me that Piers was close to tears.
It is a rare occasion that I reach for the TV remote control to change the channel to BBC 1.
Perhaps he is going though the menopause or something. The tw├Ąt.
 

Boris_Johnson

ADC
Moderator
DirtyBAT
Why toilet roll though?

Seriously, has anyone come up with an explanation yet?

Tinned stuff, nappies, cordial, pasta, pasta sauce etc I can understand. But bog roll? Seriously?

If I were to run out I'd probably just use the shower attachment like a bidet in the bath and whoosh it up my clacker to blast the tagnuts away.

Or just knock on the neighbours door since I saw the chump two days ago proudly waddle from his car to his front door with 3 x 24 packs of Andrex under each arm.

The twat.
 
Why toilet roll though?

Seriously, has anyone come up with an explanation yet?

Tinned stuff, nappies, cordial, pasta, pasta sauce etc I can understand. But bog roll? Seriously?
The divs have obviously confused covid 19 with cholera.
 
Why toilet roll though?

Seriously, has anyone come up with an explanation yet?

Tinned stuff, nappies, cordial, pasta, pasta sauce etc I can understand. But bog roll? Seriously?

If I were to run out I'd probably just use the shower attachment like a bidet in the bath and whoosh it up my clacker to blast the tagnuts away.

Or just knock on the neighbours door since I saw the chump two days ago proudly waddle from his car to his front door with 3 x 24 packs of Andrex under each arm.

The twat.
Because, Boris, my son, Scarbrough must make his own giant papier mache isolation/hibernation chamber from paper and saliva. When the time comes, I will awaken and emerge to a new life. That is why.
 

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