Media Coverage of COVID -19

Islineclear3_1

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Moderator note: Posts #1-#14 originally in this thread:


For perspective, yesterday – in terms of UK casualties – was equal to 21 Ladbroke Groves.

In one day.
How much of these figures can we believe now? I am getting fed up with this daily scaremongering by the media and the govenment
 
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westv

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For perspective, yesterday – in terms of UK casualties – was equal to 21 Ladbroke Groves.

In one day.
Doesn't that just prove the current measures have been working? We can only guess where we would be now if less had been done.
 

Carlisle

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It very much strikes me that what was happening was primarily that people were catching it from close friends they spend a lot of time with, then going home and passing it to family,
That’d be very interesting if it turns out to be true, especially as the bulk of popular opinion & media appears mostly to blame the mass gatherings like Cheltenham & Madrid’s visit to Anfield.
 

Starmill

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How much of these figures can we believe now? I am getting fed up with this daily scaremongering by the media and the govenment
Why would you not believe the figures? Casting doubt on the figures because you don't like them does not make them any less accurate. I haven't seen any evidence of any scaremongering since the virus arrived in Britain. It was endless while it was in Italy.
 

backontrack

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How much of these figures can we believe now? I am getting fed up with this daily scaremongering by the media and the govenment
That's a gov.uk figure, but you know what? If you want to go up to each and every one of the bereaved families and tell them that the loss they experienced was made up by the government, that is absolutely fine by me.

There's no reason for the government to exaggerate the death toll. The right-wing tabloids are trying to downplay it, not underline it.
 

richw

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So can you explain the reason why so many people are so frightened to leave their houses?

The daily 24-hour fear-mongering by the mass media is endless.
there seems to be an even split, of those scared to leave the house, and others who are out as much as they can be (legitimately or not!)
Personally I’ve enjoyed a daily walk, not something I’d really done before
 

bramling

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So can you explain the reason why so many people are so frightened to leave their houses?

The daily 24-hour fear-mongering by the mass media is endless.
Whether there’s been scaremongering is something which might be up for debate, however what is certainly true is that the news coverage has been pretty much solid and continuous. I’ve found that rather draining in itself.
 

Bletchleyite

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Whether there’s been scaremongering is something which might be up for debate, however what is certainly true is that the news coverage has been pretty much solid and continuous. I’ve found that rather draining in itself.
But quite interesting in a way. More so that Brexit this, Brexit that.

(I would of course rather it hadn't bothered :D )
 

TheJRB

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Whether there’s been scaremongering is something which might be up for debate, however what is certainly true is that the news coverage has been pretty much solid and continuous. I’ve found that rather draining in itself.
Absolutely agree. I think the approach varies unsurprisingly as to the quality of the outlet but it continues the trend that, as the mainstream media knows it's on the decline in the face of the social media age, it seeks (often underhand) ways to garner attention. I've been saying for ages now, the only paper worth its salt is the FT. As for TV news, I avoid as far as possible!
 

ValleyLines142

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How much of these figures can we believe now? I am getting fed up with this daily scaremongering by the media and the govenment
This is exactly how I've felt since the lockdown first started, to the point where I actually removed all news updates from my phone.

I'm glad that the majority of people are starting to realise the strain that this is having on the economy, and more importantly, mental health.

I've come across at least three people who, in simple terms, have said that the number of suicides from the stress of the lockdown 'is nothing' compared to the number of people who have died from the virus, and that those who suffer from depression/anxiety should just 'buck it up and deal with it'. Safe to say I removed such people from my friendship circle.

This lockdown can't carry on forever; it is impractical, deaths are still occurring (sadly!) and it's taking a strain on many people. It's all about balance. Carry on, as best, living your life as normal whilst also maintaining social distancing.
 

Belperpete

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If it's endless, then it's also beginless, because I haven't noticed it.
Exactly, if you watch 24 hour news, then you will get it 24 hours. There is a temptation at a time of crisis to keep scanning the news in the hope that something will change, some spark of good news.

The idea of getting continuous news feeds on my phone frankly appalls me - why would anyone willingly submit themselves to such torture? I have made a point of not listening or watching the news anymore than I would previously. Nothing much is going to change in the meanwhile, certainly not that won't wait until I next tune in.
 

JonathanH

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On the media point, some of the newspapers spread completely the wrong story this morning where they put out mixed messages about an end of lockdown confusing the possibility of some relaxation of restrictions on Monday with a much greater relaxation. It was clear from today's briefing that nothing of the sort is planned.

Some of the points from the media expect the position to change much more rapidly than it is going to.
 

Huntergreed

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On the media point, some of the newspapers spread completely the wrong story this morning where they put out mixed messages about an end of lockdown confusing the possibility of some relaxation of restrictions on Monday with a much greater relaxation. It was clear from today's briefing that nothing of the sort is planned.

Some of the points from the media expect the position to change much more rapidly than it is going to.
The media are mostly to blame for the constant fear-mongering amongst the public and I imagine they're simply trying to come up with a headline that'll make them the most money rather than telling the honest truth by blowing things completely out of proportion and taking everything that is mentioned in parliament to the nth degree.

In other words, business as usual.
 

yorkie

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The media are mostly to blame for the constant fear-mongering amongst the public....
They are indeed; the fact that some people want to see the demise of the tourism and leisure industry is making me very angry.

Unfortunately if too many people have that view, we are going to have a big problem, but ultimately those of us who can see the bigger picture, and have a more pragmatic view of risks, must prevail. I'm not going to give up the fight. It makes me very angry reading things like that. It makes me realise we could be in for a battle, and I'll say this: it's a battle I am not going to shirk from.
 
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pieguyrob

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Unfortunately if too many people have that view, we are going to have a big problem, but ultimately those of us who can see the bigger picture, and have a more pragmatic view of risks, must prevail. I'm not going to give up the fight. It makes me very angry reading posts like that. It makes me realise we could be in for a battle, and I'll say this: it's a battle I am not going to shirk from.
Well said.
 

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I have had to delete a large number off off-topic posts from this thread. This thread is for the discussion of the media coverage of COVID-19. There are plenty of other threads to discuss other COVID-19 issues. Thanks.
 

superjohn

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The problem isn’t the government, it’s the media. If one politician even suggests something tiny then suddenly the lockdown is ending on Monday.
Spot on! I am sick to death of media headlines suggesting things that are simply not true and covering their backs with the usual “may”, “could”, “up to” etc. Every time they do this it makes the government seem like killjoys who are backtracking on announcements that have never been made. The resulting dashing of false hopes also makes life worse for those who are struggling emotionally during the lockdown.

I am also disgusted by the media intruding into the grief of those who have lost loved ones just to get emotive stories of how “we never got to say goodbye“ etc.
 

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Somebody in Government must have encouraged, or at least not discouraged, these front pages yesterday (Thursday). Crazy miscalculation at this stage given the need to go on keeping a lid on things. The underlying stories may not be inaccurate but the headlines seem to me to give a misleading impression.

Note the police are very quick to point out how difficult this is likely to make their job (eg in The Times today). For all the wrong calls certain police officers have made, right is on their side this time.
 

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yorksrob

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Nature abhores a vaccuum.

As soon as the Government provide some ideas of how lockdown will be eased, people can stop speculating.
 

bramling

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Nature abhores a vaccuum.

As soon as the Government provide some ideas of how lockdown will be eased, people can stop speculating.
There seems to have been a vacuum ever since Boris fell ill, and it’s allowed the media to take over. Most of the daily press conferences have been as much use as an electric light bulb in a power cut.
 

yorksrob

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There seems to have been a vacuum ever since Boris fell ill, and it’s allowed the media to take over. Most of the daily press conferences have been as much use as an electric light bulb in a power cut.
This is true - not helped by the fact that other countries are clearly working on strategies.
 

oldman

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There seems to have been a vacuum ever since Boris fell ill, and it’s allowed the media to take over. Most of the daily press conferences have been as much use as an electric light bulb in a power cut.
Johnson created the vacuum by not allowing anyone to be seen to be taking the reins in his absence. Remember the invertebrate Raab twisting and turning to avoid saying he was acting PM. I am no fan of Sturgeon, but her didactic, it is what I say it is and that's that, approach is more convincing than the bland evasive suits.

His own weak leadership, dressed up in faux-Churchillian rhetoric and childish metaphors (sombreros, muggers), does not help, particularly as he is unlikely to be at his best physically or mentally. I suspect that a lot of the problem is with the people round him in the Downing Street bunker, who may have their own agendas.

Briefing on the eve of a bank holiday weekend that you are going to allow picnics after the weekend is completely bizarre. So we get 'Free at last, free at last, thank Boris almighty we're free at last' headlines. And the next day we backtrack.
 

bramling

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Johnson created the vacuum by not allowing anyone to be seen to be taking the reins in his absence. Remember the invertebrate Raab twisting and turning to avoid saying he was acting PM. I am no fan of Sturgeon, but her didactic, it is what I say it is and that's that, approach is more convincing than the bland evasive suits.

His own weak leadership, dressed up in faux-Churchillian rhetoric and childish metaphors (sombreros, muggers), does not help, particularly as he is unlikely to be at his best physically or mentally. I suspect that a lot of the problem is with the people round him in the Downing Street bunker, who may have their own agendas.

Briefing on the eve of a bank holiday weekend that you are going to allow picnics after the weekend is completely bizarre. So we get 'Free at last, free at last, thank Boris almighty we're free at last' headlines. And the next day we backtrack.
I can’t disagree with any of that. The Boris approach might have worked had he not fallen ill. However another issue I can’t help but keep feeling is that Britain’s approach has been *reactive* every step of the way, it has felt like we’ve always been a few steps behind events even though really we should have been able to benefit from having a head-start over places like Italy.

It really has felt like at every step we’ve taken the “do minimum” approach, which has ultimately opened up a vacuum for things like the media to seize the agenda.

No doubt the inevitable reviews will show whether this approach came from the scientists, or whether the dithering came closer to home, in other words at the political level.

One word of defence for Boris though, IMV the people need to take a share of blame too. Some people were very slow on the uptake, perhaps because of the “it’s only the old and vulnerable” message. It’s this that partly meant we couldn’t do what Sweden have done. The media could have helped reinforce the message instead of feeding hysteria but not actually suggesting solutions.
 

Busaholic

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They are indeed; the fact that some people want to see the demise of the tourism and leisure industry is making me very angry.

Unfortunately if too many people have that view, we are going to have a big problem, but ultimately those of us who can see the bigger picture, and have a more pragmatic view of risks, must prevail. I'm not going to give up the fight. It makes me very angry reading things like that. It makes me realise we could be in for a battle, and I'll say this: it's a battle I am not going to shirk from.
I live in Cornwall, a poor county at heart that is pretty much reliant on the tourism industry, but right now is not the time to end the lockdown to encourage people to come down this summer. Even a few cases of coronavirus would totally overwhelm the only hospital which takes these cases. My wife is waiting and waiting for the start of the daily radiotherapy sessions for a month that were agreed when she had an emergency scan on Easter Saturday, having been told it would be within two or three weeks, and I had an operation cancelled before that.

Specifically on the media and scaremongering, though, it was the government that decided we'd go through the daily press conference ritual, and ritual is what it's certainly become, even a charade I'd suggest as far as the cabinet ministers' place in it is concerned. No other country adopts this practice, I understand, with at most a regular weekly press conference. Everyone with an iota of intelligence can see you never get a direct answer from a minister, least of all Hapless Hancock, and most of the media now realise it's no good asking the killer question because it'll be ignored or rebuffed, perhaps even with ill-disguised petulance when it's Hancock.
 

scotrail158713

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I am also disgusted by the media intruding into the grief of those who have lost loved ones just to get emotive stories of how “we never got to say goodbye“ etc.
I’d agree with you now - it is ridiculous. However initially I think it was necessary, as it made people realise that we needed to take lockdown seriously.
 

yorksrob

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One word of defence for Boris though, IMV the people need to take a share of blame too. Some people were very slow on the uptake, perhaps because of the “it’s only the old and vulnerable” message. It’s this that partly meant we couldn’t do what Sweden have done. The media could have helped reinforce the message instead of feeding hysteria but not actually suggesting solutions.
I don't think that's true.

People were trying to follow the guidelines at the time, including hand washing etc.

People turning up at beauty spots were doubtless trying to have a day with the family, away from everyone else. Except this being England, wherever you go there are always three hundred thousand people already there.
 

SuperNova

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One word of defence for Boris though, IMV the people need to take a share of blame too. Some people were very slow on the uptake, perhaps because of the “it’s only the old and vulnerable” message. It’s this that partly meant we couldn’t do what Sweden have done. The media could have helped reinforce the message instead of feeding hysteria but not actually suggesting solutions.
This comes from weak leadership and an inept PM anyway. A man who was on TV declaring that maybe we should let the virus run through the population and was celebrating shaking hands with Covid-19 patients. That's not leadership - it's a buffoon continuing his 'charismatic' nonsense that far too many seem to lap up.

The same old culprits in the print media have also been also woefully inept. How people can go out and buy The Sun, The Telegraph etc is beyond me - but for these papers to be actively trying to encourage the end of the measures in place which have helped suppress the spread of the disease - well, it's laughable.
 

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