By Nakyia Taylor
The coronavirus has been flooded through every news outlet. Professionals and average users have been broadcasting quarantine details and the effects of the pandemic. The virus is a worldwide problem and affects every community. But is it too much? Is the coverage overshadowing other important events?
Of three broadcasts I watched, which totaled to 64 minutes, around 50 of those minutes were spent on updates on the Coronavirus. The topics ranged from death tolls, economy failures and store encounters, to tips for Coronavirus prevention. Though this is necessary, I do believe it has taken the place of other important news as well.
“There is no other news. Our country is on full lockdown and everything has to do with the virus,” said Sha’re Nestor who frequently views the news.
Her insight comes from Trinidad, but the extent of corona news coverage is nearly if not the same. Other countries are in the same boat as the US. Though specific situations vary, the scope and prominence are constant across many countries. International news is also finding its way on American broadcasts, more often than not to note spread and sources. Countries and even states could learn from each other to combat exposure.
“I think people should start looking more in international news as well to see what is going on with other regions related to the virus. Maybe then we can find a way around it,” said Nestor.
Due to the prominent coverage of the virus’ spread and the effects on society, social media has pushed to cover other important events. On March 27, Thailand forests were burning and are still burning, yet the media is focused elsewhere.
A few days ago, I found that the fires were due to climate change and wind pattern changes. Due to the failure of outlets to do so, online users are using their platforms to spread the word and cover the extent of the damage.
The media also spares little time for politics. Coverage is focused mainly on the presidential race between Democrats and Republicans. Recently, articles and segments covered Bernie Sanders’ apparent drop from the presidential race. Upon further inspection, Sanders is devoting his efforts and funding towards virus reconstruction. He has only quit spending on campaigning.
Many Twitter users were mapping their contempt and anger while under the pretense of Sanders fully dropping out. This is largely due to how the media is handling his shift in focus. Misleading headlines and viral outrage are contributing to the spread of false information.
With a larger than normal amount of people remaining indoors, there becomes a reliance on news reports. People can’t see the world for themselves within their homes. I believe it helps to dedicate a large amount of time to the virus, but I also believe there should be more time spent on other events. Especially new developments that affect individuals such as politics, stock shortages, power conflicts, weather, and less dreary content.
“I think the news gives us a wider horizon and more information,” said Nestor.