WIUM Tristates Public Radio

News Reports Warning about Coronavirus Largely Ignored

Mar 31, 2020

The Conversation recently ran a story under the headline: The news media sounded the alarm on coronavirus for months - but few listened. And that begs the question: Why?

Jacob Nelson wrote the piece, in which he said he is someone who researches the relationship between journalism and the public. And Nelson said he has observed a growing consensus within journalism scholarship around a possible answer:  People simply don’t trust what they’re reading and hearing.

Nelson said the problem dates back decades and cites causes such as misinformation campaigns on social media, spin by politicians, and the lack of diversity in many newsrooms.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss why they believe the public ignored the warnings and why the public distrusts information from journalists.

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.

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