Thursday, 2 April 2020

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Coronavirus: is breaking news breaking us?

cartoon illustration of girl washing hands - royal blue background with yellow glow around hands

Photo: Isma Gul Hasan

As more and more stories about COVID-19 continue to fill our news feeds, many of us are dismayed – yet unable to look away

 

There has been a slew of articles written about the coronavirus since the beginning of this year; just over 1.4m so far and rising by the hour. The world is in a state of panic – face masks are the new fashion accessory, people are using tortilla wraps as toilet roll, and kids are charging for squirts of hand sanitiser. 

 

Photo: Muckrack/Screenshot

Sophia Wang, on the Television MA course at City, said: “The headlines about Tesco rationing and hate crime incidents are definitely making me worried and I try to avoid reading tabloids as several provoke panic with their clickbait titles. Using names like ‘China virus’ and saying it originated from people having ‘bat soup’ is also spreading false information that promotes racism.”

In these stressful times, it’s important we get information from credible sources and debunk bogus claims, conspiracy theories and misinformation regarding the virus. Among a flood of articles, journalists are taking advantage of technology and reporting on the disease in new, innovative ways. Here are five of them:

BBC 

The BBC’s The Coronavirus Podcast is devoted exclusively to COVID-19. Featuring correspondents and expert guests, it constantly updates listeners on the global outbreak. The BBC has also released another podcast, Coronavirus Updates 24/7, providing listeners with real time updates including the latest headlines, public health information and details of disruptions to schools, health services, sporting events, and travel. 

The New York Times 

The New York Times has launched a newsletter solely for the coronavirus. Sent every weekday, the Coronavirus Briefing is a guide to the global outbreak and keeps readers informed with the ‘latest developments and expert advice about prevention and treatment’.

Buzzfeed News 

BuzzFeed News has set up a text service, whereby users can sign up to receive updates direct to their mobile phones. They’ve also added an option for people to ask questions. The editors promise to ‘text back as often as possible with as much info’ based on their reporting.

Radio Free Europe 

Radio Liberty has very instructive and easy to understand infographics complete with illustrations and labels. They range from maps to bar charts covering various topics regarding the disease including ‘COVID-19 symptoms’ to ‘How well are countries prepared for an epidemic’. 

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Other than health information in the form of articles, WHO has a blog style ‘rolling updates’ section devoted to COVID-19. With a summary of the posts as a sidebar, the blog has updates regarding the virus accompanied by related tweets and documents for each post. 

Want more? Check out some of XCityPlus’s other latest content here.