Is relentless coverage on coronavirus pandemic spreading gloominess?

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi, India Published: May 03, 2021, 10:50 PM(IST)

A file photo of coronavirus situation in India. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Whether it was the first wave of the pandemic or the second, the news is always on the top of the agenda

There are a string of stories attached to the coronavirus pandemic but they have been highlighted by the fourth pillar of society, that is, media.

Journalists have been the invisible front-line workers of this pandemic. While viewers have stayed home, reporters ventured out to report the latest developments about the novel coronavirus.

Whether it was the first wave of the pandemic or the second, the news is always on the top of the agenda. Every day of the last year, WION's team came to work, risking themselves and their families to tell the stories that need to be shared.

 

However, there are some people who want rosier pictures and positive spins. Whatsapp forwards ask to quarantine the media because they spread negativity. But the media did not create the pandemic, it only reports it.

There is a direct link between the content you consume and your mental space. 

There are people who say that relentless reporting on the second wave - is spreading negativity.

More than 3,000 Indians are dying every day from the coronavirus. It reinforces the seriousness of the pandemic.

The media regularly answers a series of most frequently asked questions. However, there are people who take it too far and spread fear, panic, and misinformation.

The media can play a positive role by checking facts and busting myths by avoiding a half-baked approach.

Knowledge is power and can act as the biggest weapon to combat COVID-19.

The more viewers know about the pandemic, the better equipped they are to face it.

Today the matter reached the apex court of India, that is the Supreme Court.

Is the pandemic coverage too negative?

The Supreme Court of India said that the free flow of information must continue. It slammed the clampdown on social media posts and accounts asking for help and said that it would amount to contempt of court.

The second instance was on reporting discussions inside court rooms.

A few days back, the Madras High Court came down heavily on the Election Commission.

The court said the EC should be booked for murder for its negligence.

The EC went to the Supreme Court and said the media should be prevented from covering this bit of news.

The top court flatly rejected this. It said such reportage was in public interest...

It gives the media no joy to tell viewers these stories of suffering. But the reality is that India is suffering.

If the pandemic coverage is genuinely affecting the mental space of viewers they can switch off the television or avoid reading news. But remember, this is not the same as ignorance. The media cannot pretend the pandemic doesn't exist.

So WION  will keep beaming these images of long lines outside hospitals, signboards that say 'no oxygen', and people walking around without masks. These are supposed to be a constant reminder of how serious our problem is. A constant reminder to the governments that they need to act urgently.

When millions of your countrymen are suffering, is positivity even possible?

The news reflects the ground situation, and the ground situation right now is completely negative.

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