TOURISM chiefs in Scotland have warned of a ‘wave of trauma and mental anguish’ in the hospitality sector as a multi tier system was announced by Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister revealed the provisional coronavirus restrictions that will apply to different parts of Scotland from next week.
Leaving aside the misleading use of the term ‘tourism chiefs‘ for what is an association of businesses rather than say the chief executive of the national tourism organisation Visit Scotland, the Herald‘s platforming of this quotation is another example of the damage the UK media, unlike its counterparts elsewhere, has done to the campaign to control the virus:
The British media should acknowledge that they play a key role in shaping the UK’s response to Covid-19 and this shaping often produces perverse outcomes, but with no accountability. The very process of focussing on the latest fashionable, and often media-hyped, ‘failures’ distracts from the primary challenge of saving lives.
Professor John Bryson of the University of Birmingham, above, argues that this kind of editorial policy and the reports it generates, demonises political leaders, undermines solidarity, reduces compliance and so costs lives.
I’ve looked at the Irish Times, Sun, Independent and Herald. There’s no sign of any report like the one above, challenging the democratically elected government’s strategy to save lives by allowing business interests a platform to emote in this way and to, unavoidably, weaken popular support for the strategy.