How a normal country’s media help fight a pandemic

The Scotsman yesterday with three reports questioning the Scottish Government’s strategy.

The Irish Independent, informative and educational.

BBC Scotland casting doubt on compliance, portraying the Scottish Government as ‘Big Brother’, highlighting death and suggesting businesses are victims of harsh treatment.

RTE, the equivalent to BBC, informative and educational, helping it’s audience without demoralising them.

There urgently needs to be a critical discussion of the role journalists play in UK society. Does this include education, or should the focus just be on holding others to account combined with human-interest stories?

Currently, there is a debate about the UK’s comparative failure in addressing Covid-19. Journalists and other commentators highlight that the failure is either attributable to government or to Boris Johnson. Any comparison between the UK media and, for example, the Covid-19 coverage provided by RTE would suggest that part of the failure can be attributed to institutional failure across the British media.

Professor John Bryson
Department of Strategy and International Business, University of Birmingham

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