Journalism in times of COVID19
As we are living in the year 2021 and are going into another year of the OLMUN conference, we find ourselves amid the still ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Undoubtedly, we recognize how gravely the world has been affected by the global pandemic, considering not only many deaths all around the world but also the multitude of challenges and changes we have confronted. As a result, we have to adjust our lives to the current situation. The effects and consequences of the global crisis have influenced people’s personal and professional life. We acknowledge that taking counter measures such as physically separating ourselves from one another is a necessary means to stop spreading the virus. While we may miss relatives, the situation also brings us closer together as we face the situation and hope to resolve it. Besides challenging our personal life, our interaction as well as communication with friends and family, the global pandemic has also impacted our work life and our daily routines. Much like many other industries the journalism industry has faced and is still facing obstacles and problems during the crisis.
Since the beginning of COVID19 one and a half years ago, the work of journalists has been challenged. Trying to fulfill the public’s need for new updates and data on the progress of the global pandemic, journalists are challenged by fast changing and sometimes unverified COVID19 data, which might prevent them from providing accurate information to the public. With an increased number of unverified data or misinformation throughout the pandemic, the public’s trust in the high-quality and fact-based journalisms is at risk. In times of the ever-expanding globalization the information available online for example on social media platforms increases rapidly and has its biggest influence on teenage consumers. Being free of charge and available at all times, social media platforms and the information published on them have become the only source of information for many people. Resulting from that is the problematic rise in the amount of misinformation and illegitimate facts, which can spread over the internet by anyone and makes other users more willing to believe.
Therefore, people face the daily challenge of having to decide which information to trust. They possibly finding themselves in a position where there might be an imbalance of governmental data and media information. The result is the constant use of information as a means to influence the public by politicians and different political parties. Trying to fit recent developments into their political narrative and using it to their advantage further divides society. This can not only be said for politics but for the media and illegitimate journalist, who tend to focus their work around news that will be eye-catching and will generate as much attention and profit as possible. Furthermore, very often there are no consequences for spreading misinformation and illegitimate facts especially to social media users.
Moreover, considering the amount of daily COVID19 news, many other relevant topics have been neglected by the journalisms industry. Journalists may struggle between the immense interest of the public and their readers in the development of the pandemic and still providing information on other critical issues such as the climate change or humanitarian crises. By not reporting about these problems, the public’s awareness of issues is at risk and we prevent ourselves from bringing attentions to the issue and acting to resolve it.
Seeing the challenges the journalism industry is facing due to COVID19 and being aware of difficulties concerning their work, the society will learn from the consequences and will therefore find ways for improvement.
As a society, we always must be aware of what the media presents to us and differentiate between various intentions behind information and the news – between manipulative and biased coverage and the well informed and fact-checked work of journalists.
Throughout our OLMUN 2021 conference we would like to spotlight relevant issues being discussed in the committees. The conference will give the delegates the opportunity to be open-minded and inform themselves of new and different perspectives of current issues, which they might not be generally aware of.
Our goal as Press Team of the OLMUN 2021 is to provide high quality and well-researched information on current topics and the proceedings at the OLMUN with its committees. Discussing problems from different point of views may bring those involved new experiences and awareness but we seek to providing those results and differences for a wider audience in a reliable and informative manner. It is our generation that faces and experiences the ongoing issues and their consequences in the future. Therefore, we must be aware of what is going on and inform ourselves of that we can be responsible to resolve issues for our future together.