"Media" during a Pandemic, is it all Bad?
Everyone has heard it lately: The Media is blowing this out proportion.
And sure, there is a lot of articles out there right now that don’t paint anything even remotely similar to a “happy” view of society. But here’s something that maybe people haven’t considered: It’s not up to the media to make the news seem desirable.
Journalists and Reporters report just that, the news. Their job is to discuss what is happening, and NEWS FLASH (no pun intended) the Coronavirus Pandemic is what is happening right now.
It’s not up to the media to make the news seem desirable
I have stayed quiet online for most of the Political, historical, and controversial moments in the past. However, during the past few weeks of isolation I have - like many other people who are stuck inside their homes - grown increasingly frustrated with the comments and misinformation that people have been spreading online.
Maybe it’s the ex-journalist in me. But I thought the least I could do is try to spread some light and information about some of the bits of news floating around. And let’s be honest, cure some of my own sanity.
If you don’t know me, I have spent the last 6 years or so working in the “mEdiA” you know, the dreaded cause of all our problems today. In my little time during & post college I have worked in Radio & Television, Live Sports, Television Award shows, Music Festivals, Business Conventions, Theatre & Dance Performance Arts, and probably more I am forgetting. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies from San Diego State University in 2015. Sure, I am no expert, but I guess I can say at the very least I can speak from experience.
I have been doing my very best to stay on top of the news & information that is being spread during this Pandemic. It’s hard when the majority of people are staying at home, staring at their Facebook screens to differentiate what is “right” and what is “wrong.” And that’s not what this article is about.
I think it’s rather convenient that everyone can point fingers at the “Media” for saying that we are spreading fear, misinformation, or the works. However, what I think most people ignore is the fact that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even text messaging is a form of media. Here is a definition from Dicitonary.com:
Dictionary.com: Media: a plural of medium. (usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, that reach or influence people widely.
Without diving into a full-on Media & Communication lesson, and to put it as simply as possible: we are ALL the media. Our social interactions, commentary, and public opinions all contribute to the media landscape & the conversation. Sure, CNN, CBS & Fox News have more followers, but that doesn’t mean more influence. When Scotty from your senior class posts on his Timeline daily about how this virus is a “hoax,” he is very likely to gain a community of like-minded individuals who also feel the same way, and may also continue to share similar opinions & information online or to their circle of peers. Similarly, when Sally from your Freshmen year Biology class is constantly pushing a fundraiser to support Families of Health Care officials & to provide Masks for frontline workers, you are much more likely to see a group of people rallying around her to help the cause.
By posting these Articles, opinions, or ideas that Scotty & Sally feel are 100% fact & truth, they are doing the same thing that we are criticizing the “Media” for doing. Dispersing information, whether factual or not. This is where most people, if you aren’t in agreeance with the speaker start saying THE MEDIA IS “bLoWiNg tHiS oUt oF pRopORtIoN.”
But what is everyone supposed to do? Say nothing? Have no opinions? That’s not what I am saying. I just wish that more people could take accountability for their actions and realize that their commentary is making a difference whether it may be small or not. That perhaps a few more layers of reading & understanding could potentially inform your opinions & also strengthen your arguments. Just like a well written article with several references, your opinions should attempt to be well rounded.
Another main reason I wanted to discuss this, is to try and shed light on the good ways that the Media - and yes that includes our interactions on Social Media - are helping us during this time of Self Isolating,
I have included some “feel good” articles & social Media Posts that may brighten your day during your Social Distancing this week.
Stay tuned for more like this... Comment below if you have more good news to share!
Thank you for Reading..
This is a space for me to share my thoughts, experiences, and more. I hope you enjoy!