Mainstream and Local Media Outlets During COVID-19 Times

Story By: Julie Chavez, News Editor

Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, news organizations on the national and local level are both finding ways to provide updates and new information in the best and most accurate way. 

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 92% of adults who rely on MSNBC and 82% of adults who rely on CNN for news feel the news outlet is doing somewhat or very well at covering COVID-19. 

Both mainstream and local media outlets are working around the clock in order to keep citizens informed and although tons of stories are being posted daily, it’s almost all necessary. 

Mainstream media outlets, such as CNN and MSNBC, are in charge of reporting about COVID-19 related stories and issues across the nation while the local media, which includes the Fresno Bee and CBS47, focus on ones that pertain specifically to the Central Valley. 

There is no doubt that the extensive media coverage of COVID-19 is provoking many different emotions in citizens. For some citizens all the coverage can be overwhelming or scary so they choose to stop paying attention. 

This leads to the question of who is responsible for the fear, is it the media’s fault for putting out so much information or are citizens misinterpreting the information therefore causing their own panic?

There is also the possibility that citizens are reacting appropriately to the news and stories reporters are sharing. 

However in terms of the type of stories and information, both mainstream and local media organizations are reporting what is most essential for citizens to be aware about and providing updates on current situations. 

In addition to reporting deaths and the increasing number of cases, the media is focused on telling the stories of how citizens are being impacted by the laws and orders being made during this pandemic. 

Although the more serious and tragic stories outweigh the positive and heartwarming stories, news outlets are still trying to show multiple perspectives to the crisis. 

Compared to national news agencies, local media like The Fresno Bee and ABC30 have done a better job at documenting how COVID-19 has been impacting the Central Valley. 

National news agencies are more focused on covering a very large variety of issues that affect the whole nation, such as how the stock market and unemployment rates are doing during this crisis. 

For that reason, local media really is the go to for local news.

The Fresno Bee has done a great job in tackling issues like how businesses in the Tower District and Old Town Clovis are changing the way they usually do business due to stay at home and social distancing regulations in the state. 

Local news outlets have also given citizens the opportunity to send in videos of how they are doing during the pandemic, whether they are funny or serious. 

This is definitely a different approach to getting information from citizens but it works and is a great way of getting different points of view on how everyone is taking the pandemic.