While the United States deals with a continued pandemic, it is also battling misinformation about the virus.
The United Nations secretary-general himself said that “journalists are key to countering the ‘dangerous outbreak of misinformation’ accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic.” But journalists across American mainstream media have repeatedly added to the misinformation.
These journalists have devoted dozens of articles to fighting COVID-19-related misinformation, largely blaming social media for its spread. But according to a Gallup poll, the media is partly responsible for creating division on COVID-19. And Americans’ distrust of the media is growing. Repeated misrepresentation of data within even the most respected outlets will only drive more Americans toward the very sources the media has blamed.
Major outlets have more competition than ever, so many have capitalized on what will get them the most clicks and the highest ratings: content scary enough to share.