Are Kannada media houses over-hyping Kovid-19 issues and spreading fear instead of truth? The general idea in people’s minds is “yes”. Since the day the government imposed the lockdown in March, the epidemic has received extensive coverage from all media outlets, setting the agenda for public debate.
In the process, TV channels spread more fear than information, including frightening phrases in fear-inducing stories. Misinformation and fake stories have only made people’s situation worse. The latest report that caused panic is the story of people returning home after the rapid rise in the Kovid-19 case in Bangalore.
The channels start speculating
Over the past few weeks, several channels have speculated that Karnataka may be locked out again. With the rapid growth of the Covid-19 cases and fears for their safety, an exodus of people has left Garden City.
A TV channel has relentlessly reported that people are leaving Bangalore as the government has failed to provide affordable healthcare to the middle class and poor. “I am fighting for two square meals. In this situation, if we test positive for Kovid-19, how can we survive in this city? How can we spend millions of rupees for treatment? No, we don’t have money for treatment or we don’t have enough money. Bank accounts for survival if lockdown is imposed.
Another channel reported that the government was not fully prepared to deal with the situation and predicted that the number of coronavirus cases would rise at an alarming rate in the coming days.
TV channels have been threatening the coronavirus for a while with phrases like ‘Killer Corona’, ‘Corona Hemmari’, and ‘Corona Ghost’.
“People are now fearing for their lives more than money. They think it is safer to live in their own city than in the city. This situation is due to worrying-media fears,” Prasad Reddy blamed local channels.
If that’s not enough, many channels have spread misinformation about lawsuits, causes and prevention. There have been plenty of occasions when the media published false news about Kovid-19 without confirmation from the concerned officials at any particular place.
“Five cases have been found in our area. There is panic among the citizens here, but once we examined the Arogya Bridge application, those reports turned out to be false,” Basantpura resident Suhas told the International Business Times, India.
“They’re just fleeing by adding a question mark to the title,” he added.
“In this difficult situation, a section of the media has not done responsible journalism. An example of this is when in March-April, most of the media blamed Muslims for attending the Tablighi Jamaat program for the growing number of cases,” IBT Media reported.
Last but not least, the misleading and harmful coronavirus information disseminated on social media platforms has exacerbated these crises.
Bangalore forehead message
Bangalore Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao urged the IPS people not to panic when asked not to spread fake news.
Not surprisingly, he received numerous requests for advice on how to prevent TV channels from spreading fear.