Indisputably, coronavirus (COVID-19) is the topic consumers and media alike have been focused on of late. As the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 1,000 this week and worldwide confirmed cases remain well above 100,000, the coronavirus public health crisis is a story we need to be following– and, moreover, it is an outbreak that requires the attention of the public. Since the outbreak started in December, the news media has been carefully reporting on the global spread of coronavirus. But the question remains: is the media providing the public with the information it needs?
Last month, US News wrote about how global media has been covering the health crisis. The article details criticisms that the media had been sensational, biased, and producing excess coverage. “The media has diligently reported on the number of deaths, infected patients as well as possible causes of the virus. But media analysts also say the coverage has been uneven around the world, including in the United States, and has included sensational aspects,” the article states.
The outbreak is impacting top media figures and events, too. A report in the New York Post shared that some of the top fashion editors at Vogue, Elle, and InStyle” have been in self-quarantine since returning from Fashion Week in Milan. And of course, major events like South by Southwest (SXSW), Google I/O, and Mobile World Congress, have been cancelled along with numerous sporting events, political gatherings, and impacts to educational institutions. All of these cancellations and shutdowns are leading to direct economic loss of over an estimated $1 billion as reported by Vox.
As the situation continues to unfold, it will be important for us as PR professionals to ensure we have a complete picture of the news — how it is being presented by scientists, experts and health organizations, media outlets, analysts, and on social channels as well as its effects — and, as people and communities, take action around safety tips and preparedness.
Wall Street Journal
- Rachael Levy is switching to a new beat and will now be covering domestic terrorism for the Journal. Levy has been a reporter with The Wall Street Journal since July 2018 and previously covered hedge funds.
New York Times
- Ella Koeze joins the publication as a graphics and multimedia editor in the Business section.
- Clinton Cargill joins as an assistant national editor.
- Karissa Bell began a role as senior editor covering social media platforms after six years at Mashable.
- Seven new journalists join Industry Dive to expand coverage across 23 daily publications.
Atlanta Business Journal
- Mark Meltzer is leaving his position as executive editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle after working at the paper for 22 years.
- The editorial staff at Men’s Journal has been eliminated as the publication merged editorial operations with the Adventure Sports Network.
- Andrew Yang joins CNN as a political commentator following his exit from the presidential race.
- Don Baer, former BCW global chair has been named Meredith’s Lead Independent Director.
- The BBC is cutting 450 newsroom employees as part of a move away from traditional broadcasting and towards digital.