What makes a bad story?

Deciding that a story is ‘bad’ is quite personal.

I might forgive poor grammar and a clunky ending because the storyline grips me. You might enjoy long descriptive text that transports you to another place and time. The list of what we’re using to make our judgements is as long as my arm, your arm and the arms of all our descendants.

Yet whatever criteria we’re using to judge a story (be it a blog post, short story or item on the nightly news), one thing unites badness.

Disregard for the audience. 

Disregard holds the door open for sloppy spelling and gristly grammar; half-baked opinions based on nothing more rumour; scaremongering and story beat ups.

It’s the last two that are bringing harm right now in the media’s coverage of the coronavirus. Some of the stories are breathtaking in their disregard for the audience.

Coronavirus Coverage has become a very real ailment that threatens to do as much damage as the new virus itself.

Unlike media coverage of other significant events, there is no hidden agenda here – just immaturity, the pressure to publish and general lack of awareness of the impact of their actions.

Yes, there is good reporting and there are good journalists doing good work. Sadly there just aren’t enough. At a time like this, we need everyone on their A-game. Many don’t know where to find it.

Until next time, stay healthy and stay impervious to the fear. 

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