Updated: Apr 5, 2020
I just want to reach out and explain why there hasn’t been many blogs, articles, news pieces or commentary from me in a while. With everything going on with COVID-19, I have pivoted my means of communication but in doing so neglected to communicate this to my WordPress followers. For this I am sorry, but please let me explain.
Firstly, as someone who works full time and only works on this blog causally, committing the time and resources needed to deliver fact-checked, accurate and important information about a global crisis is not something I can handle. I don’t have the team, money or resources available to me to make sure everything is delivered in a timely and community serving manner. To combat this, I have opted to take a less direct approach and share important stories and information directly from credible news sources, without commentary, via my Facebook and Twitter profiles. I have done my best to make this information accessible but have found sometimes people need the message unfiltered and raw.
Not all news stories need to be stressful and depressing, and while press conferences and department of health statements usually are during times like these, sharing the hopeful pieces during this pandemic will be equally as important. I encourage all of you to call out people doing loving and amazing things during these uncertain times and not share hate, blame filled posts or articles – I’ve already seen lots of these. I have been sharing unrelated news and feel good stories as much as I can, trying to create a level of normality in news away from COVID-19 in between but the time has come where this is not really possible.
A lot of important stories are dry and information rich – which is their power in a way – and can be easily overlooked as ‘too hard’ or ‘boring’. Try to push through and read/watch these because knowing what is happening is as important as ever with so much false statements out there on social media. I have tried my best to condense some of these important stories into my social media bite sized statuses for my followers but am finding some of the comments to be speculative or just unsubstantiated rumours. Social media is an incredible tool but has trained us to express an opinion about everything and find that viral edge. In the case of COVID-19, just educate yourself with the dry facts and don’t speculate. You don’t need an opinion about this. I strongly encourage everyone to read up on anything from credible journalist and media outlets (ABC, News.com.au, Reuters, BBC, AP News, ect) about the illness and ignore your own political biases towards them. Also, get on the mailing list and profiles of major organisations, seeking dry information from WHO and government officials where possible first.
Scott of the Press is a blog. I cover local and national news stories (very selective) and local SA sport (with a bias to my state). I don’t go to media conferences and ask questions. I don’t spend months investigating criminal behaviour or researching, infiltrating and uncovering award-winning investigated news stories. I work full-time in a survival job, pay my bills, and use my passion for news and education in journalistic research to compile secondhand information for ease of reading. I am not a all-knowing-source for COVID-19 information, No one source is.
In times like these I urge you not to share unsubstantiated Facebook or Twitter statuses which promote fear and hate. These are usually click-bait, scare-tactics by low lives who want nothing more than to spread racism, political bias and make a quick buck off viral outrage. Do not share them. Instead look after your family and neighbours, and take COVID-19 advice seriously and enact it. There is no conspiracy or master plan to create the New World Order out of this illness. It’s real! …and only together can we beat it. So put the pitchforks away and take proactive steps and advice from scientists not opportunists looking to capitalise off the suffering of others and this horrid illness.
This all needs to be said because the key to beating this and our main weapon against it is communication. During the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu outbreak, communities couldn’t communicate like we can now. With this mass level of communication ability comes many more issues and power than we can imagine or have experienced during a pandemic – just look how the panic buying and toilet paper purge begun. If we communicate smartly, communication will help combat the curve for all of us. Let’s not use communication to ‘Blame’ or ‘Condemn’ groups – racial or political. This will get us nowhere. Instead, let us stay informed and make sure our neighbours and family know what is happening in the world.
Stay safe everyone not matter where you are in the world.
We’ll talk soon!