In the political ecosystem the media plays a central role in providing a framework and process for citizens to be part of the solution to challenges within the body politic. What the COVID-19 pandemic reveals about the current state of the media, social media, and journalism and what can the coverage of the pandemic teach up about how to build a media ecosystem that serves informed citizens in a republican democracy. We offer a comprehensive journalistic approach to address the complex challenges associated with the press and mass communication in our current times. Goal:
Map out the COVID 19 Media Ecosystem, performance and consider ways to make it more responsive to citizen needs. Background The Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan China, quickly became the most consequential global event of the past century. As the initial infective event led to COVID-19 and evolved into a pandemic, it met a rapidly changing media ecosystem. Ten months into the devastating impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as we head into the next phase, with new challenges facing the global community, and the impact of the measures to contain it is becoming more clear, it’s worth looking back to assess how the media performed, how it could have done better as the virus broke out of China and headed to the US, how could it have helped frame public opinion, how can it provide reliable up to date information, how to report on the political and related policy response locally, nationally and globally. By examining critically these areas with a complexity lens we develop a new framework for the media, journalism, and public opinion for the current moment. Transformed by digital technology, social, political and financial forces that have become the reality of life in the early 21st century, the media ecosystem and the multiple players that comprise it continue to play an important role in the lives of the citizens within their communities, nations and globally. Reporting that once required days and months to complete, is now expected to be made public in a matter of hours if not minutes. News organizations that controlled print newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV have become one of many sources for information transmission to the public. The citizen- depending on the media as a source for information, is easily overwhelmed with the amount of, the nature and conflicting information pushed at them. Related links Stakeholders: The press, the media, social media and journalism. The elements of journalism In their book The Elements of Journalism , Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel identify the essential principles and practices of journalism.