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COVID-19 Challenges Update 3
April 29, 2020. New York. – COVID-19 continues to present a global challenge for citizens, governments, healthcare professionals, scientists, corporations, and the media.
While the disease creates new challenges, it also highlights long-standing ones in terms of policy, communication, and societal awareness of key issues and how the media reports on these issues.
In media coverage, senior citizens have historically been near invisible. While challenges around assisted living, pension systems, and securing a life with dignity have been burning issues for decades, they have rarely made it into primetime news. In order to ensure that society can have a qualified discussion, a topic needs visibility in opinion-leading media at 1.5% or above of all reported topics. If stories stay underneath this so-called “awareness threshold” no public debate happens, politicians will rarely take action, and shortages remain unsolved. Long before Covid-19, public service TV news kept the realities of senior citizens under the radar. Reporting did not even reach 0.5% of all stories aired on TV from BBC to ZDF, although, in large parts of the globe, senior citizens represent the majority. Where senior citizens made it into primetime news, they were presented as at risk or in a negative context. This points us towards the way in which senior citizens have been treated as expendable in much government COVID-19 policy.
Yet, the overall frame for treating all lives as dignified and valuable already exists and has been accepted by 193 heads of state in the form of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with their 169 clear targets.
To see our complete findings this week on COVID-19, please visit:
These findings are produced in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the African Union, the Universities Network, UN Academic Impact, and diverse faith communities as we need better data and reporting on solutions for tackling the pandemic.
For over 21 years Media Tenor's mission has been to contribute to objective, diverse, and newsworthy media content by bringing together the diverse parties. Media Tenor's global research projects include analyses of election campaigns, investor relations, public diplomacy, corporate communications and other topics critical to news makers and news audiences.