WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Critiquing Coverage of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mar 18, 2020

The Shop Talk panelists share their thoughts on media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Will Buss said he is mostly pleased with much of what he has seen and heard. He called this a historic moment and said much of the coverage so far is providing news we can use.

Rajvee Subramanian agreed that much of the recent coverage has been quite good. But he said some outlets tried early-on to dismiss the problem and/or promoted conspiracy theories.

Rich Egger said attempts to downplay the crisis should have disappeared once the major sports leagues suspended operations. He said that’s costing the leagues a great deal of money and should be a sign that the crisis is legitimate.

Subramanian said journalists have a tendency to run toward danger rather than away from it and he believes reporters will continue striving to find out the latest about the virus.

Buss said he expects journalists to continue working their sources and beats in the weeks and months ahead as they keep the public informed. He said journalism is as important now as at any point in recent history.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.