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Journalists can help public cope with pandemic

Aug 18, 2020 |

Journalists can play an important role in increasing the public’s resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a paper posted by the Jandoli Institute today (Aug. 18).

elenchin-alan“Journalists who cover the varied aspects of this pandemic are well-positioned to go beyond reporting the latest statistics, to dig deep and develop a fuller picture of both how COVID19 might impact us, as well as how to respond to this threat,” William Elenchin, chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at St. Bonaventure University, wrote.

In the paper, “Media, Resilience and COVID19,” Elenchin explains that the press has been the primary means by which the public is able to grasp the reality of the pandemic.

“Journalists who cover the struggles and strength of people battling the epidemic do a tremendous service in helping bring balance and perspective that goes far beyond daily statistical reports on the prevalence of infection,” he wrote. “There is of course much more work to be done.”

The paper includes sections that explore the meaning of health and wellbeing, changes in the field of psychology and research on resilience.

Since June 23, the Jandoli Institute has posted a new Media Studies Across Disciplines essay on its website every Tuesday. Elenchin’s paper is the final essay in the series.

The essays were authored by St. Bonaventure faculty members who used their knowledge and expertise to provide insight and analysis from their own individual perspectives. Faculty from the biology, history, nursing, philosophy and sociology departments contributed to the project, which was funded by the Leo E. Keenan Jr. Faculty Development Endowment and the Jandoli School of Communication. The essays were selected through a blind peer-review process.

The Jandoli Institute serves as a forum for academic research, creative ideas and discussion on the intersection between media and democracy. The institute, accessible at jandoli.net, is part of the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University.