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As news are full of Covid-19 and its impact on various parts of the society, I see  some difference in how pandemic is reported in media in different countries.  I listen to English podcast and watch some news in English from North America and Europe (and sometimes Mideast.)  I hear the stories and voices of the healthcare workers in the field often in English media and every time I hear how challenging it must be for healthcare workers treating patients of Covid-19, while being worried about infections (not only for oneself but for their families).  I often hear their voice explaining how sad and helpless they feel when they are the only ones that hold hands of dying patients.  Whenever I hear these stories, I cannot stop crying, imagining how they must feel day in and day out.

On the other hand, I hear so little about the stories and voices of the healthcare workers in the field in Japan. (I now see some from the organization of nurses etc., but mainly the voices I hear -at least on the Japanese media- are of doctors and chair etc. of different groups, and not those in the field.

As I noticed this difference, I recall the session we had at Global Agenda Seminar series several years ago when we had  Japanese journalist as our guest.  He explained the difference in approach and focus between Japan where he worked for one of the major news paper companies and when he was enrolled at the school of journalism in the US.  His point was that for journalism training in the US,, he learned that  the reporting and stories need to be based upon what is taking place in the field and upon the voices and views of the people in the field, and NOT just the announcement and information given by the representative of the organization.

Realizing I do not hear any voice from the field in Japan about Covid-19, his remarks came back to my mind.  I realize that journalism and reporting could be subjective and each country may have unique characteristics about media and journalism,  but missing the voice of the party that plays significant role in the news, to me, is such a major shortfall (not sure whether this is the right term).   I think not hearing anything about what is going on in the field can distort the real picture of the major incidents such as Covid-19.  What is more significant is that I start questioning whether I get the true picture and facts. Something to think about more…

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