COVID-19 and the Mass Media: A Scenario of the Pandemic in India

COVID-19 and the Mass Media: A Scenario of the Pandemic in India

Subir Sinha (Dum Dum Motijheel College, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6825-5.ch031
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Abstract

COVID-19 is the cause of the greatest pandemic of the century that affects almost every nation of our globe. In India, mass media has played a significant role in this pandemic situation. The media coverage revealed fearlessly the condition of COVID-19 and provides a pictorial view of the situation in front of the readers and viewers. The main objectives of these fearless journalistic works were to provide the public valuable authentic information, create awareness among the public, eliminate fake propaganda and fake news, highlight the problem face by the ordinary public, and to provide the government a medium to speak with the public for the public interest. Mass media served as a vital weapon to fight against COVID-19. The valuable information and instructions provided by mass media created awareness among the public and which played a major role to deescalate the graphical representation of active COVID-19 cases. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the dogmatic approaches of the mass media in the pandemic situation have recalled the concept of media as the third pillar of democracy.
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Mass Media As A Source Of Information

In India, information has served several significant roles during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Information performs various functions and supports the society from various dimensions. Indian government declared lockdown on 24th March 2020 with the outbreak of COVID-19. Nearly 1.3 billion Indian wilfully locked themselves within their residents for the safety. Mass media were the only sources of information for them, through mass media they received various data and information related to the situation of various places, medical facilities, government activities and various announcements.

Indian mass media has played a wide role in information gathering and dissemination not only within the nation but also across the globe during the pandemic. Mass media continuously provided several valuables national and international news about the Corona virus and COVID-19 on regular basis. Through the mass media Indian citizen get a pictorial view of how Corona virus spread the COVID-19 in the city of Wuhan in China. It also informed how other countries were fight against COVID-19. The vivid descriptions of the tragic stories of United State, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Russia, Iran and many other countries that were highly affected have been also disseminated through mass media. Mass media act as a major source of international news during the pandemic situation of COVID-19.

Along with these tragic stories, various research related stories of Sar-Cov-2 or COVID-19 were also got published in various mass media after the outbreak of pandemic. It has informed the public about laboratory or research oriented activities based on Sar-Cov-2 or COVID-19. These stories mainly related to the structure of corona virus, development of test kit, development of medicine and vaccine production etc. However, this news stories are highly popular and provides a light of hope to the public in amid of global pandemic situation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mass Media: Media that disseminate information among the masses.

Pandemic: Outbreak of an epidemic or diseases globally or to a large area that affect heavily.

Public Awareness: Awareness at public level.

COVID-19: Is an infectious disease caused by newly discovered corona virus.

Symptom: Evidence or indication of disease or something.

Interstate Migrant Labour: Labour who move from state to state in search of jobs.

Announcement: Declaration of a formal public statement about a fact.

Information: Is a fact or data about something.

Precaution: Taking steps in advance to prevent something or to reduce chance of getting affected.

Fake News: False and fabricated news.

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