HAVE NEWSPAPERS LIKE THE SUN, AND THE MIRROR HELPED KEEP THEIR READERS INFORMED ABOUT COVID, OR HELPED SPREAD DISINFORMATION?
The earlier stages of the covid19 crisis left public gatherings, and many sporting events canceled, meaning that newspapers had to find new ways to fill up their pages. The pandemic presented a tough time for newspaper printing presses. When all people stay indoors, public events canceled, and movements restricted, many newspapers are left with nothing to write about.
However, newspapers have played a critical role during the pandemic as they have been the reader’s defense against disinformation and fake news. People have spread all sorts of information about the coronavirus, which has left many people, not knowing what to believe. Following a lot of fake information spreading rapidly online, people have turned to newspapers such as the sun and the mirror to get clear and verified information.
According to Maximilian Lang-Orsini, a typical reader of The Sun Newspaper, newspapers have played a significant role in keeping communities engaged during the pandemic by sharing stories of hope and unsung heroes during the challenging season. Many newspapers shifted to sharing stories that reveal the sharing acts of a community amidst the heartwrenching stories of people losing their family members and loved ones to the deadly virus. From private organizations distributing PPES, people fundraising through digital platforms, making masks for free distribution, to volunteers shopping for vulnerable groups restricted to their homes. Newspapers have continuously shared heartwarming stories of how people took it upon themselves to care for each other.
Despite the jeopardy of newspapers during the pandemic, they have had to implement drastic measures to keep going. According to many editors, the covid 19 pandemic brought a different kind of game in the print media. Since many people were waking up to coffee and a newspaper in hand during the lockdowns, it meant taking them down memory lane with nostalgic stories. We are facing abnormal times, and it is challenging for newspapers to deliver something they were offering before the pandemic. The good thing is, people have continued to rely on newspapers for some sense of normality and to differentiate between truths and fake news spreading all over social media.
Obituaries offering solace
For the better part of the year, movements have been restricted, and many families haven’t been able to go to the funerals of their loved ones partly due to the virus’s isolating nature. Newspapers have played a key role in publishing tributes, offering solace to families who lost their loved ones to covid 19. With people dying in large numbers due to the pandemic, newspapers have been a voice in highlighting individual stories because there was no longer regular news.
Newspapers did not shy off from publishing heartwrenching stories of people who lost their jobs during the pandemic and many struggling for survival. That saw many organizations come up to help immensely suffering people cope with the impacts of the pandemic.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Newspapers have offered readers great help during the pandemic despite many struggling to stay afloat. Editors found a way to keep people engaged and entertained regardless of the cancellation of entertainment events. Many people have perceived newspapers as their defense against fake news consumption and disinformation during the pandemic, with editors sharing stories of hope and caring acts in the community amidst a pandemic.
Written by: Maximilian Lang-Orsini