Mainstream Media Coverage of Covid-19

Neil Ilenrey

Since the mid-20th century, the mainstream media has affected the beliefs of the everyday civilian. Whether it be health, environment, or politics the media’s outward perception has weathered many opinions. Mainstream media has been exposed on multiple occasions for “fake news.” Eighty- six percent of adults say that they have experienced the phenomenon of fake news in America. That then raises one question: “ What effect does media have on environmental and health beliefs?”

Media coverage on environmental issues have risen exponentially in the past ten years. Widely in part to President Trump’s opinions on climate change, in 2017 environmental coverage had risen to 71 percent in America according to Dr. Michael Svoboda. This rise in coverage led many to learn about issues happening around the world that they may not have known about otherwise. These problems include the Australian wildfires, the Flint Water issue, The depletion of the Amazonian rainforest , and many more. Before this Coverage, questions whether or not climate change was valid were rampant, however after, the idea about climate change is a true issue to most people. Public opinion is strongly swayed by how the media expresses said subject. In many cases the media portrays global environmental as urgent dilemmas that need to be anchored.

An undoubted quandary happening around the world today is the issue being Covid-19 Virus. This virus has affected the lives of billions of people, whether with regard to money, job opportunities, healthcare affordability, and everyday family life. Due to this outbreak having so many effects on everyday life, 51 percent of adults have said they closely pay attention to news coverage on the pandemic. However, due to the “ fake news” phenomenon 38 percent of adults believe that the coverage on this topic is strongly exaggerated. Forty-eight percent of adults say that they have seen made up, or “fake news” about the Covid- 19 pandemic. On both sides of the political spectrum the overall population has come to agreement about news outlets altering their stories to fit a certain agenda. This mistrust in the media has caused many to create opinions about Corona solely based on what they have seen from it themselves, and how it affects them. For instance, If someone had lost a loved one to the Covid-19 Virus they may be more subject to take the virus seriously compared to someone who has not experienced loss from the outbreak.

Although the media has the ability to sway the opinions, due to it being distrusted by many, it can have negative effects on the population. “Fake News” has caused many to put their own beliefs on ideals before factual evidence. This affects more than just the environment and health, but also political , lifestyle, and educational opinions. While finding evidence to back an opinion it is important to remember to find credulous media.

Laura Wright is the founder of the field of Vegan Studies. She is Professor of English at Western Carolina University.