Journalism and the Corona Virus

It is really difficult to find out exactly what is going on with the corona virus pandemic. I always hope that journalists are able to tell us what is actually happening, and what has happened around the world; that, after all, is what news is about. Unfortunately, journalists concentrate on asking ministers and officials to make predictions and speculate about the future, and having found out (rightly so) that no predictions are possible in the present circumstances, the journalists make predictions and speculations themselves, often by interviewing other journalists.

This is not news; this mere lazy prophecy, a pointless and an annoying undertaking when passed off as news by those too full of self-importance to make proper enquiries.  It ill serves the populace.

One journalist, Mr Robert Peston, suggested at a recent briefing that Public Health England was dragging its feet in approving a new antibody test at one of these briefings. The question implied that PHE was dragging its feet, and denials that it was not dragging its feet simply allow the libel to be repeated. Mr Peston should know better. The antibody test has to be carefully and properly tested to make sure it is fit for its intended purpose. I would imagine that those testing the antibody test are working much harder and much longer hours and for much less pay than Mr Peston.

What should be investigated by journalists instead of wasting ministers and officials’ time asking by foolish questions at daily briefings? At the time of writing, China claims that only 3,335 people have died as a result of corona virus cases. Perhaps this figure is worth investigating, especially when the UK has recorded 7,097 deaths.