Two decades ago, a Downing Street spin doctor got into trouble for sending out a memo on September 11 for suggesting it might be “a good day to bury bad news”.
Since then, the media lens has become even more myopic, regularly monstering a single story for ratings, and ignoring everything else. As the news cycle burns through a story every three days of so, from revelation to reaction, counterpoint and resolution, it’s easy to get the impression of an out of control juggernaut.
And then there’s Covid.
For the last twelve months, the media focus has been weirdly fixated on a single story. Granted, it is a worldwide, all encompassing story, and it has many angles, including new research on how the disease spreads, debates over economic effects, vaccine development and distribution, graft and corruption, and conspiracy theories.
It has, paradoxically, been a good year to bury bad news.
And speaking of conspiracy theories, it’s not just burying bad news.
Stories get ignored, because in chasing the cheap heat of Covid ratings, other stories get pushed to inside pages, or links below the first screen.
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