On everything that involves the coronavirus Donald Trump’s public statements have been unreliable. And that is why today we announce that we are shifting our coverage of the President to an emergency setting.
This means we are exiting from the normal system for covering presidents— which Trump himself exited long ago by using the microphone we have handed him to spread thousands of false claims, even as he undermines trust in the presidency and the press. True: he is not obliged to answer our questions. But neither are we obligated to assist him in misinforming the American people about the spread of the virus, and what is actually being done by his government.
Switching to emergency mode means our coverage will look different and work in a different way, as we try to prevent the President from misinforming you through us. Here are the major changes:
* We will not cover live any speech, rally, or press conference involving the president. The risk of passing along bad information is too great. Instead, we will attend carefully to what he says. If we can independently verify any important news he announces we will bring that to you— after the verification step. ...
-- Jay Rosen, NYU, 23 March 2020
Additional measures are listed, recommended reading.
The question. of how to deal with disinformation originating at the head-of-state level is ... plaguing ... the media. There's attending, and there's broadcasting. Credible suggestions have been made to not carry the sessions live, to read or paraphrase rather than play back responses, etc. Creating the value of record without the liability of soapbox.On the Media
discussed this in "How can we convey to you
), the idea is originally attributed to Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post
, and the Rosen piece quoted above.
OTM's Bob Garfield suggests a third path: switch to independent credible experts and authorities -- Dr. Anthony Fauci and Governor Cuomo specifically named.