In the wake of the corona virus outbreak broadcast news journalists could report from home instead

Air quality the world over right this very moment is in a world of hurt what with the corona virus outbreak and COVID-19’s continual spread and path of destruction the disease has wrought.

Reported have been 8,000 COVID-19-caused deaths with people contracting the disease numbering in the hundreds of thousands. This is a pandemic that is to be taken most seriously. The situation is so serious in Italy, in fact, that implemented is a country-wide lockdown.

COVID-19

Why news of this outbreak has reached the extent that it has is on account of all of the in-depth coverage on air, via the Internet and through print media news distribution. Knowledge/information is power as long as the information being disseminated is factual and correct – that’s key.

However, one of the potential ramifications associated with said information dispensing is that people doing the frontlines reporting could be putting themselves in harm’s way, unwittingly or otherwise.

Some of the reporting that has been conducted is being done remotely, that is to say that those interviewed providing expert comment are doing so from within their own domiciles via provisions such as Skype for example, or perhaps by telephone communication which, for these individuals, such action appears to be providing them a level of added safety, thus leaving nothing to chance.

That said, it seems also that the reporters on the frontline as well as the in-the-studio anchors could stand to follow the same sorts of protocols.

In the world of news journalism as of late and maybe the case historically, standard operating procedure appears to be to get whatever out-in-the-field, on-site, frontlines reporting as is deemed necessary or appropriate.

Why? Not just to get the story out but to drive up ratings? At this time with this pandemic, ratings should be the least of the news outlets’ concerns. The focus should be on delivering news/information that is correct and pertinent. This is especially important, critical even, at this juncture.

Related to this virus and its spread, scenes coming in from around the globe run the gamut; everything from deserted city streets to crowded hospital rooms full of those who have become infected. Those telltale scenes speak volumes.

But these streets and hospital rooms are this way for a reason and except for the hospital staff attending to the critically ill, really, for those who do not need to be out-and-about is it not the best medicine to keep oneself out of harm’s way?

As a matter of fact and as it relates, it has been reported that one on-location news correspondent covering the story has since tested positive for COVID-19 and, it is presumed that this one individual either now risks or previously risked further spreading the disease.

Somewhat relatedly and as an aside, an upside with this whole terrible and unfortunate ordeal, as has also been reported on by the way, is a retreat in worldwide pollution present in the air on account of travel restrictions that have gone into effect and due to a number of industries scaling back or stopping production altogether, at least temporarily.

Common sense above all else should dictate all. And, if that means no more on-site and/or in-the-studio reporting is what it takes to help stem the spread of the rapidly advancing, easily communicable corona virus disease, well, then, so be it.

And, in elaborating further on this, the following maxims come immediately to mind: “Safety first!” “It’s better to be safe than sorry” and its suitable substitute “It’s better to err on the side of caution” or “safety.”

Excellent practices to embrace and adhere to in life, all.

Image above: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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