Nowadays, all the newspapers, Tv channels and radio programs are talking about coronavirus. In a world in stand still, it’s not easy not to fall into the vicious circle of fear and panic. And the media has a responsibility in this…
It’s been nearly three years since I starded studying journalism. Plenty of time, I heard how wonderful and important my profession in the History is. We are the counter-power, we give words to the forgotten ones, we say the truth… During the Charlie Hebdo’s attacks, everyone was supporting us in the most beautiful way. For the first time, the little me knew that I wanted to be part of a community. This one.
Today, things have changed. In coronavirus time, news are becoming the only way for people to be informed and have some semblance of connection with the outside world. Impossible to ask the last gossips to your neighbours, impossible to know the last “fait-divers” from the baker… Only your mobile phone or tv will be on during all day long.
Coronavirus is becoming fashion. Try any Instagram stories, you can be sure to find something about it. At first, like everyone, I was on the lookout for every detail about new restrictions, new cases, new deaths… After a week, those numbers got bigger and bigger. The originality of these events became a reality. And watching the news every night was more painful. Some people even prefer to cut themselves off from all information rather than get depressed. And I don’t want to be responsible of that.
I don’t blame my colleagues, far from it. Everyone responds to the need to inform the public. When I hear my partners from the sport newspapers who find themselves out of work due to a lack of competition, we can’t blame them for writing about corona.
In times like these, we have to ask ourselves: what is our role as journalists? What is our responsibility towards the audience? In these circumstances, the way in which information is relayed can affect the population more than serve it. It’s our turn to act now. Instead of talking about people who don’t respect the rules of confinement, instead of giving the number of deaths every hour, we can focus on other simple things: How is it possible to be useful during coronavirus time? What are the solidarity gestures all around the world? How does nature regain its rights after the almost complete cessation of human activity?
Talking about good news is not lying. Of course, times are complicated, and many people are affected by this contagion. It’s our right to mourn our dead. But it’s also our responsibility to help others by cheering them up. Humanity will not be extinguished by this virus. It’s everywhere. And it’s finding new ways to manifest itself.