Saturday’s news items [communications & more] – 3/28/2020

Communication during emergency situations | … is so important for citizens. Municipalities owe their constituents timely, truthful, authoritative information about the situation and how it impacts them. The STAY AT HOME order and other events need to be translated and broken down for citizens at the local level. The City of Lancaster and it’s political structure is doing a model job of doing that. Can’t Columbia do better than “out of date information” at its Website and facebook page. Columbia’s Police Department has updated information at its facebook page.

citizen communicaiton

Communication void | In the absence of timely, truthful, authoritative information from officials, social media comments will prevail. The above facebook post makes a great point and is a substitute for official commentary. Unfortunately, the great point social media posts are outweighed by less than timely, truthful, authoritative information, too.

citizen communicaiton2

social media’s strengths | include posts as this one (above). Community information that’s helpful to citizens.

School updates | Columbia Borough School District is keeping people informed with timely posts at its facebook page and Website.

corona evolution

Not a read for everyone, but | this is a really interesting (though a long read) course in the epidemology of coronaviruses. You’ll probably want to skip this if you’re one of those who believe COVID-19 is nothing more than the flu. You’ll probably want to skip this if you’re one of those who believe the current national policy is working; this article is not for you either: It’s science.  – The Atlantic

trust  Source: Edelman

The warning signs | In an upside down world, what happened in the last great influenza pandemic is happening again in this one in a way. Political sources tried to manacle and muscle news media to be kind and gentle in reporting — to cover up the real truth about the pandemic — while this time, it appears that the distrust inspired by politics has created a lack of trust in traditional news sources. And the news sources are still trying to deliver truth. “The news media sounded the alarm on coronavirus for months — but few listened. Why?”Nieman Lab

Despots hate truth | “Iran Uses Arrests, Censorship to Silence Critical COVID-19 Coverage”VOA news

Every time | “Every major pandemic in human history has been exacerbated by cultural behavior in one way or another. For example, the 1918 influenza pandemic was negatively affected by population movements and censorship of the press due to wartime restrictions during World War I.” – Futurity



  1. Journalists themselves are as much, or more, to blame for their lack of trust as anyone else. Most are as biased and ignorant as there audience. Those that aren’t, believe themselves intellectually and morally superior to their readers.

    As I have said before, the current spike in distrust of the media began with President Obama’s attack on Rush Limbaugh and Fox News within days of his election. We endured eight years of Fox News as the enemy; we should not be surprised at, nor can we deny the result.

    • To each his/her own, we try to follow this:
      I believe in the profession of journalism.

      I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.

      I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.

      I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.

      I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

      I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.

      I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.

      I believe that the journalism which succeeds best – and best deserves success – fears God and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.


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