Media Has Duty to Respond to Daily Shifting Face of COVID-19

Leo Olivero

I am totally supportive of the actions taken so far from the Government who have generally acted on advice from health professionals.

The Media Duty to Respond to the Daily Changing Face COVID-19

However, I would not be doing justice to my role as a reporter for a daily newspaper like Panorama if I did not question the daily changing or shifting face of the C-19 crisis, particularly, those important issue(s) that still concern many people. In fact, one is the main subject of this report! 

These are also challenging times for the world media. Our primary function, is to inform and educate in a measured way without causing unnecessary panic. While at the same time, doing nothing to underestimate the true scale of the danger that we all face, not only locally, but in a global sense.

At the same time, the media must also increasingly prepare its responses on a daily basis, mainly to reflect the evolving and accelerating threat of a global crisis of a world pandemic!

Anthony Bellinger, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, recently put it well when he argued referring to the crises that “the journalist’s responsibility towards the public takes precedence over any other responsibility.”

It has been reported, that traditional media outlets stand to gain most, if their reporting remains factual and measured as the crisis worsens, as we have been told will be the case!

Raft of Measures Already Introduced

The government, have now introduced a raft of anti-C-19 measures. Already closing all but essential retail services, education and schools (as we know it) and further restrictions on social movement.

But is this enough? Do you think this is total lockdown? I say no to both latter questions. Certainly, this is not a total lockdown and whether it is enough remains to be seen?

I have been critical of one important point or issue in previous reports. It has, and still concerns many people, (hence, why I have prepared this report today) after repeatedly being told by the medical and health professional’s who advise the government, that the whole community will catch the virus, and even, in one recent daily press briefing that, ‘we should make peace with our loved ones’, which in fact, upset many people. I have found this area of the official daily updates, not only sketchy, but contradictory, if not misleading, simple because it lacks information not yet presented?

There are many people, who do not yet understand these comments, which need to be properly explained, but are frequently repeated. Think about it, if people, have religiously adhered to the government and health instructions, and have or will potentially, remain locked up for weeks or months with no contact with any living sole, how they are going to catch the virus and potentially, if over a certain age, frail or suffer from certain medical conditions, or potentially, you could be joining the heavenly angels.

The medical science or pertinent evidence, behind these seriously disturbing comments, needs to be explained for people not only to understand, but also to accept, if its death we’re talking about.

I for one, do not want official ‘C19 updates to be ‘sugar-coated’ in anyway. But if local medical and health experts are regularly coming out on daily information bulletins with these ‘stark-dark coronavirus scenarios’ awaiting us all, they also have a professional duty and responsibility to explain more!