WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Right Wing Media Misleads during Pandemic

Apr 15, 2020

Columbia Journalism Review ran a piece that takes a look at how right wing media have been covering the coronavirus pandemic.  The story said the coverage was characterized by faulty projections, inflammatory anti-Chinese rhetoric, and over-the-top praise for President Trump.

The piece was written by Howard Polskin, who is the president and chief curator of TheRighting. CJR described it as a website that aggregates stories from right-wing media outlets on a daily basis to inform mainstream and liberal audiences. The site also tracks and analyzes traffic to conservative websites on a monthly basis. TheRighting began operations in 2017.

The Shop Talk panelists said they are not surprised by the findings. They said the ultraconservative right has spent years manufacturing a crisis of faith in journalism. They hope audiences will step back and think about who they can trust during this time of crisis.

The panelists also hope audiences pay attention to the best science-based information available rather than the opinion-based coverage coming from right wing media.

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.