Journalists say it’s vital to cover, learn about COVID-19

Multi-media journalist Ruelle Fludd graduated from FAMU in December. Photo courtesy of Fludd

The coronavirus is the No. 1 talked about story in the world right now, and most media outlets have topics related to the global pandemic.
Some folks believe he media are putting out too much information related to the coronavirus.

However, some people think that the news outlets are just doing their job by keeping people informed in relation to the coronavirus.

“I don’t believe the media has shown too much, in regard to coronavirus,” Aiyana Ishmael a student-journalist at Florida A&M University and editor-in-chief of Journey magazine. “Publications and broadcasters everywhere are just doing their job. Giving the news as it is.”

Some media professionals say that the media are doing their job, which is to inform.

“My job as a reporter is to never promote, it’s to inform,” Ruelle Fludd, a reporter for WCJB TV 20 News in Gainesville and a recent FAMU graduate, said. “People paste their feelings onto the facts that we relay rather than just reading it for what it is.”

One of the challenges that comes with watching news is that it can leave viewers uneasy, because most of the news that comes with the coronavirus is the possible negative outcomes that can happen due to COVID-19.

Yet, for Ishmael, the news works differently, allowing her to learn every detail of the virus that is of concern for her.

“For me personally it isn’t harmful,” Ishmael said. “I’m the kind of person that needs to know every detail of a situation to calm my nerves. It’s the unknown that scares me.”

One important thing to note is that it is important for people to get their information from the right sources. Ishmael looks for her news from local stations and also top media outlets nationwide.

“I watch my local news station in Miami, but mostly I read articles from The Miami Herald, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, and Teen Vogue.”

SJGC Professor Kenneth Jones doubles down by showing the importance of how local stations can help provide information to viewers.
“I think people should go to whatever source they feel most comfortable with as long as the sources are reliable,” Jones said. “Local news and print are important and will have more information on your general surroundings.”
With the virus affecting most of the world’s economy, most newsrooms have had their staff work from home to promote social distancing. Fludd shared her experience on how her newsroom has changed due to having to work at home.

“Well, I’ve been working from home for about four weeks or so, maybe five,” Fludd said. “I have lost all concept of time from that. The few times I do go into the station it’s always super barren and I miss interacting with my co-workers. Most of us that can work from the home are doing so. It’s for the best.”