Reflective blog post final: The role of the press in the COVID-19 pandemic

Addi Tarr
2 min readMay 11, 2021

During these uncertain times, the ever-changing nature of COVID-19 data being circulated has left journalists with challenges in providing accurate information to the public.

While there is an abundance of questions to be answered, the research on this virus is limited and can be unverified, leaving journalists hesitant to report on the topic.

The battles between anti-vaccination supporters and vaccination supporters, mask-wearers and no-maskers, conspiracy theorists and scientists — have caused chaos and blurred the lines between fact and fear.

While many Americans’ first reaction is to bash the media for misinforming the public on the pandemic, I think it is important to realize that journalists are citizens living in communities, speaking to people and trying their best to come to a conclusion in the tidal wave of information being discussed.

How can one inform the public of the “truth” if one professional source is claiming that COVID-19 doesn’t exist, while the other is claiming that it is going to be the end of humanity? Reporters must gather all the research they can and then attempt to relay it to the public in an organized and unbiased manner.

While many people point out the inconsistencies within media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that people — and journalists — come to different conclusions based on the information given to them.

Oftentimes facts of the stories may be consistent, but journalists choose to write on the story that best fits their narrative. For instance, an article was published by Fox News titled, Fauci called out for ‘blood-boiling nonsense’ after continuing to say children should wear masks outside, this is not fake news, but it is news that a left-leaning journalist would probably avoid covering due to biases on the topic at hand.

Same rings true when the roles are reversed, CNN published an article titled, The GOP’s devotion to Trump threatens to destroy American democracy, not an untrue story, but a story that would most likely be turned down by a right-leaning journalist.

The world isn’t black and white. We’ve been conditioned by our environments, traumas and experiences to see the world through a unique lens. People should try and read news from a wide variety of sources to best understand the full picture.

The distinction between media and social media needs to be discussed in conversations concerning to inconsistency in journalism. While messages displayed and shared on social media may be convenient to bring up in conversation, it is highly likely that it is misinformation.

In my opinion, the media and those in charge should maintain a professional relationship and nothing more lest it lead into bribery or corruption. Journalism exists to put the power back into the hands of the people by either giving them a voice or exposing corruption that they may have been unaware of. Why would a journalist expose the corruption of the governor that she’s friends with?