The new COVID-19 which is a very contagious disease is scary. They frighten us all every day globally because they are unknown and unpredictable.
The ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus has received extensive media attention and coverage that can tell us a lot about how uncertainty in the face of such an epidemic can all too easily breed fear.
For quite some time now, I have been studying the role of emotions among some journalists, including the Television in the coverage of disasters and crises.
Media reportage on the current coronavirus situation is vital to our shared conversations and plays a key role in regulating our emotions, including fear but our local journalists report fear instead of calm
While fear is an emotion that we frequently experience as individuals, it can also be a shared and social emotion, one which circulates through groups and communities and shapes our reactions to ongoing events.
Fear is contagious and can spread swiftly.
Media reportage sets the agenda for public debate especially in Ghana While the news doesn’t necessarily tell us what to do. In doing so, the news signals what issues merit their attention and every media house wants to be first to break news about COVID-19 turning out to crate **fear, and panic*'.
Research has consistently shown that when issues receive extensive media **false reportage*' and coverage and are prominent in the news agenda, they also come to be seen as more important by members of the public especially the less-privileged people.
The current outbreak has been much more prominent in media reportage and coverage than the recent epidemics.
My own small research I made suggests that fear has played a particularly vital role in our media reportage and coverage of the current coronavirus outbreak situation.
Social media is even worse in terms of sharing news about COVID-19 and I will advise we use it "wisely" especially in times like these.
I will advise all our media houses to report **calm and not fear**
FRANCIS J. CUDJOE
A citizen somewhere Aboso