When a new coronavirus strain was discovered in December 2019, all media turned its attention to reporting on the spread of this new virus.
Over a year later, the virus is still front and center on all platforms and has been given the name COVID-19.
Since more social media platforms have been introduced since the last pandemic of influenza in 2009, COVID-19 is a very important virus, and the news has spread like wildfire.
Daily case numbers continue to rise around the world and as of the date of writing – March 10, 2021 – Alberta had 136,773 confirmed cases.
As cases rose, schools closed and moved online.
In Alberta, schools went back in-person only to be shut down again before Christmas and cases continued to rise and fall.
Schools in Alberta are currently back in-person.
As governments around the world issued their mandatory COVID restrictions, the media played a large role in spreading information about public safety guidelines, school closures and other government messages.
Media and social outlets have now started reporting on new COVID variants around the world, along with the continuing vaccine rollout.
Two Grade 9 students from Hughenden Public School (HPS) were asked if they had noticed changes in daily news stories on the news or social media since the pandemic started.
“Yes I have realized most news stories and headlines are COVID related,” said Gabe Sortland.
However, when asked how much of her time on social media is now COVID related, Kallee Hope replied “None, unless I watch the odd COVID related post or video on platforms like Instagram or TikTok.”
Most of us have undoubtedly noticed the trend that COVID-19 headlines are the first and immediate topic on news stations and platforms, and as the vaccine rollout continues, we can expect the media to continue to report on the pandemic for months or years to come.
by Alyssa Carson