- The forced transition over the past few weeks was one that was abrupt and still rapidly evolving. The information one gathers about the virus and the state of our world is completely based on what media we look to. While being concerned with a subject that changes so quickly, such as news surrounding the pandemic, it is irrational to think that most of the sources one reads will be fully factual – still, sources are crucial to personal understanding and opinion formation. Much like most of modern media, especially in the US, the outbreak of COVID-19 has been politically taken over by polarizing liberal and conservative media. The influence of politics on both ends of the spectrum, disrupts one’s right to access of facts versus the speculations the political media puts out. A quote taken from the Vox article brings attention to this exact issue, when Jen Schradie states “The internet is a tool and in that sense it’s neutral, but just like other communication tools from the past, people with more power, with more resources, with more organization, have been able to take advantage of it.” Since the outbreak has completely taken over every aspect of the world, politics inevitably have seeped into our news outlets. Traditional conservative media began focusing on liberal media stating they are using the pandemic in an attempt to demonize Trump and his administration and the virus can even be considered a part of “mass hysteria”- a hoax. Liberal media took this time to point to how conservative media spent many weeks reducing the danger we face via COVID-19 in order to protect President Donald Trump. As Schradie points out, the conservative media is extremely powerful and has many believing that serious measures do not need to be taken for the outbreak. If my understanding of the media has been shaped by the past few weeks, it is that the power of a political agenda has the ability to outweigh news concerning science and factual information even in a time of national crisis.
- Sources: Illing, Sean. “Why Conservatives Are Winning the Internet.” Vox, Vox, 3 June 2019, www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/3/18624687/conservatism-liberals-internet-activism-jen-schradie.
Crothers, Brooke. “Top Coronavirus Myths, Hoaxes and Scams.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 25 Mar. 2020, www.foxnews.com/tech/top-coronavirus-myths-hoaxes-and-scams.