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Media Coverage Of The Pandemic | Conspiracy Theories (R)

Young white male reporter in long-sleeved denim blue shirt and navy pants wearing a disposable mask is crouched down in front of others who are standing.  He is wearing headphones with his right hand outstretched holding a microphone.
Carlos Moreno
As a KCUR news intern Lukas Kenney, above, reported on homelessness during the pandemic.

What journalists can do better and differently in covering COVID-19 and the evolution of conspiracy theories.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Where 16 months of coronavirus coverage has left journalists and news consumers alike.

In a review of the job news media is doing reporting on COVID-19, we consider whether American coverage is too bleak, if the press has been equitable or if it's missing important perspectives, what role media has in advocating vaccinations and how good a job have journalists done in addressing misinformation.

Segment 2, beginning at 27:23: What once existed on the fringe of popular culture has become a tool for the political mainstream.

Just a few decades ago, conspiracy theories meant aliens visiting our planet or Bigfoot sightings in the Northwest. Today it could mean fake news scandals accelerated by social media and championed by commentators like Alex Jones or groups like QAnon resulting in politically motivated action.

The interview with Prof. Geoff Dancy originally aired on May 26, 2021.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.