I’m a news junkie and a student of the art of journalism. The media can certainly over-react to any event, but when it comes to the swine flu, I think not.
First of all, I pretty much ignore the 24-hour news stations. Their quest for ratings tends to have them blow everything out of proportion from the first 100 days of the Obama administration to the anniversary of Columbine. The same usually holds true for the networks, except for the swine flu outbreak. I personally think there was no hyping the outbreak which killed more than 100 people in Mexico. OTHER organization may have been over-reacting, but not the media. Sure there may be an isolated incident that I might have missed, but for the most part, I think the media was reacting to the news.
Others disagree with me. They cite the fact that more than 30,000 people die from influenza each year, so how can 100 be newsworthy? I think it has to do with the particular strain of this virus. The CDC and the World Health Organization were cautioning people almost daily. Mexico shut down more than 90 percent of public and government offices and retail. The World Health Organization stopped just short of calling this outbreak a pandemic. It seems the media was just reporting the hype rather than contributing to it.
The outbreak of 1918 caused more than 20 million deaths worldwide. It was the swine flu, not the same swine flu, but a similar strain. I would prefer the media tell me what is going on rather than wait until loved ones come down with a sudden illness that will kill them in a few days.
Perhaps you disagree?