Sunday, April 19, 2020

The News Pandemic

Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author:  In Search of Robin  
So You Want to Blog.
I want to start this blog post by making it crystal clear that I understand the full and complete nature of the COVID–19 virus. It is a horrific plague affecting the health and economic viability of the entire world.
It seems to me; we may be infected by two plagues. The first is the corona virus itself, and the second may well be the plague of the media.
All the national news media is laser focused on the corona virus. The news programs on all the major networks are reporting on the corona virus from morning until night.
The news media print and electronic have taken it upon themselves to feed us a constant diet of corona virus disaster.
When they are not overloading us with what is repetitive and often useless information, they are not really keeping us informed about the world and all that is going on.
The constant parade of teary-eyed news anchors, field reporters with masks draped around their neck and the endless articles in print journalism have really gotten to be just simply too much.
There is certainly a place for news on something as deadly and as contagious as this virus. However, a steady diet of corona virus news, death statistics, the plight of the health-care workers, shortage of PPE and ventilators, etc., is depressing to say the least when you are sequestered in your home.
Also, the endless potshot questions from pool reporters at press briefings from the White House right down to local mayors; City managers and officials is getting disgusting.
I realize this is an easy news cycle to write about, but we are in very deep uncharted waters here and taking apart officials and politicians from the City Council to Congress repeatedly is making the media look more like our enemy than our friend.
We need the information to protect ourselves, and we need the information about how our community is being affected, but I’m not really sure we need it 14 hours a day  seven days a week on every major newscast from open to close, the full front page of every edition of every local newspaper for days weeks and possibly months on end.
By now, most of us are fully aware of the magnitude of this problem.          
The COVID Pandemic is easy news to cover. Information, statistics, sound bites, Tweets, Facebook posts are everywhere and easy to get. You can fill a news cast or a front page with some simple editing.
It’s time for the news media to get back to work, chasing the stories being hidden by the Pandemic. There are still wars going on, mass migrations, climate change is still occurring; governments are still corrupt, local politicians still serve their own interests, and people are still doing dumb things.
I for one, would like to know what is going on in the world, my State, County and City and not be fed a constant diet on information about a problem that I can only effect by staying home.
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