News Top Tips - Final piece with encouraging_literature, hardworking_apple & hardworking_introduction

Featured image Infodemic 6

This is a joint post with encouraging_literature, hardworking_introduction and hardworking_apple.

Hello Burnet News Club,

We have decided to talk about statistic A, which is 'About 90% of all news reported is negative.

Particularly in Covid times, the news can be rather negative and depressing. After all, it is important to know about what's happening in the news, but after a while, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Here are our News Top-Tips as to how to avoid all the bad news.

Too much news:

An infodemic is when there is too much news spreading around, like a virus pandemic. When an infodemic gets too extreme, the news can be slightly faltered each time (like when you play Chinese Whispers) and the actual message can change. This can be a big problem as people will never know what the actual news is and this could form into fake news spreading!

Top Tip:

Make sure to always find your news from reliable sources, or where they first originated from, so you get the ‘fresh’ information. Try to avoid ‘word of mouth’ news unless you completely trust the sources your friends get their news from or you believe the issue yourself. If you are still unsure, go to different sites and make sure to check before you chance.

News sources:

The news affects people in different ways such as how they act, think and speak. 90% of news reported is negative so sometimes people are unmotivated to watch the news or find out more about the event. Some people don’t watch the news because it is mainly upsetting, this causes an issue because it means others miss out on important information. For instance, if we were about to find out whether or not we were going to go into lockdown it would be essential information but some people wouldn't know what's going on because they don't watch the news!

Top tip:

Our top tip to help stop people from being overwhelmed by the news is to read more positive news than negative. For example, channels like Newsround provide an equilibrium of unfortunate and fortunate news stories and they even include specials like “Happy news” on a Monday and “Strange news” (those really are rather strange!). If you look at more pessimistic information you are going to upset yourself. Also, you should sometimes take a break from the news because watching it makes you stress more and worry about the little things.

Numbers in the news:

In the news, there are many different ways to portray statistics and this can confuse and differ some civilians' minds about what they think of the situation. This is a problem because you might think it's dismissive or optimistic news because of the way that it's worded. For example, you could say ‘30% of people decline the vaccine!’; this makes you think that they are doing terribly and you might get worried by this. However, if the newspaper said ‘70% of people have got the vaccine!’, this will make you think that they are doing well and that the vaccine is going out swiftly. So it really demonstrates that numbers aren't as clear as they seem.

Top Tip:

Sometimes numbers can be confusing so always make sure to try and find out the other statistic and don't just trust one number. Newspapers are very good at wording it cheekily and you might get leant to one side. Also don't forget that usually if there is a negative, there is probably a positive as well! After all, every cloud has a silver lining!

Story Shapers:

Particularly in newspapers, the headline can completely change the shape of the story. If a headline says, for example, “Thousands refusing vaccines and delaying roll-out”, that portrays the story to be quite bad and unfortunate, whereas “Vaccines rolling out rapidly as millions accept their offer”, is a positive headline. This can often be a problem as your view on a story could be changed before you even read about the issue.

Top Tip:

Never trust the headline of a newspaper and make sure to always read the actual story- the catchy headlines are there just to get your attention so sometimes they can be misleading.

I hope you have enjoyed our final piece about a Pandemic to Infodemic and learnt more about it. Thank you so much for reading, we hope you have a great day!

By: encouraging_ literature, hardworking_apple & hardworking_introduction.

Comments (1)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    30 Mar 2021

    Brilliant top tips! I'm very impressed by how you've brought in so many example headlines to help support your ideas. Numbers certainly aren't as clear as they seem. You might want to take a look at one of our experts, Aleks, a social media manager at the World Health Organisation talking about this:

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