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Networks Ramp Up Coronavirus Coverage As White House Accuses Media Of Fearmongering – Deadline

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Networks are ramping up their coronavirus coverage, as concerns escalate of a worldwide spread, major public events are postponed or canceled, and Wall Street experienced its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

The White House contends that the media is raising unnecessary alarm about the virus and its spread in the U.S., even with the intent of hurting President Donald Trump.

As he headed out to a rally in South Carolina on Friday, Trump told reporters, “I think that CNN is a very disreputable network. I think that they are doing everything they can to instill fear in people.”

Earlier in the day, his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference and told the crowd that “the reason you’re seeing so much attention to it today is that they think this is going to be the thing that brings down the president. That’s what this is all about it.”

Mulvaney advised people to tune out the news.

“I got a note today from a reporter saying, what are you going to do today to calm the markets?” he said. “Really what I might do today to calm the markets is tell people to turn their televisions off for 24 hours.”

The administration’s attacks on the media are not unusual. But they are coming at a time when public communication of accurate information is essential, if anything to reassure the country that the White House has a handle on the crisis and the risk is still very low.

Trump tried to assuage fears on Wednesday by holding a briefing where he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would be leading the administration’s effort to contain the disease.

But markets continued to slide on Thursday and Friday — the S&P and Dow Jones were down by more than 10% for the week. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell issued a statement to try to calm nerves, saying that “we will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.” But he said that the virus poses “evolving risks to economic activity.”

Trump defended the administration’s response, noting that the administration placed limits weeks ago on travel from China that limited its spread in the U.S.

“Some people are giving us credit for that and some people aren’t. But the only ones who aren’t, they don’t mean it. It’s political. It’s politics,” Trump told reporters.

Pence went on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Friday, where he said that the threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S. “remains low.”

“With that being said, out of an abundance of caution, we are going to continue to take very, very strong measures and to put the health and safety of the American people first,” he said.

Earlier in the week, Limbaugh claimed that the coronavirus was being “weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.” Pence told him that he has been speaking to Democratic leaders and governors like Gavin Newsom in California, and that “we’re all in this together.”

Meanwhile, networks are announcing plans to boost their coverage of the coronavirus.

NBC News launched a live blog with feed from the network’s medical, business, political and investigative reporters and updates on known cases and new infections. They also are doing a morning newsletter, Morning Rundown Special Edition: Coronavirus Crisis, starting on Monday, with updates from medical correspondent Dr. John Torres and on business ramifications from Ali Velshi. The newsletter also will provide tips to readers.

Among other highlights, Pence will appear on Meet the Press on Sunday, and investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen will answer questions from viewers on Today on Monday.

Fox News is presenting a coronavirus special at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday featuring Leland Vittert.

While increasing their focus on the virus, media outlets also have provided a bit of context.

ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton co-hosted ABC’s The View on Friday, where she noted the greater threat currently posed by flu season and addressed misinformation about the disease.

Among the topics: The idea that Americans should be wearing surgical masks. “They are not to protect the healthy from something coming in,” she said, noting that the Centers for Disease Control was not recommending that the average American wear them now.

“Right now, according to the CDC, this is a highly transmissible virus with a low mortality or fatality rate and that’s really important right now,” she said.

She added, “One of the biggest problems with this story is where people get information and where people get misinformation, and you have to get your information from credible, credentialed sources. If you don’t, not only does it not do you any good, it can actually endanger public health and the response.”

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‘Think Before You Link’: app launched to help social media users detect fake profiles – The Guardian

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‘Think Before You Link’: app launched to help social media users detect fake profiles  The Guardian



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These middle school students have a warning about teens and social media – knkx.org

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The town of Rockwall, Texas, has a few claims to fame: Bonafide Betties Pie Company, where “thick pies save lives”; the mega-sized Lakepointe Church; and Lake Ray Hubbard, which is lovely until the wet, Texas heat makes a shoreline stroll feel like a plod through hot butter.

Now add to that list: Rockwall is home to the middle-school winners of NPR’s fourth-annual Student Podcast Challenge.

Their entry, The Worlds We Create, is a funny and sneakily thoughtful exploration of what it means that so many teens today are “talking digitally,” instead of face-to-face. It was one of two winning entries (the high school winner is here) chosen by our judges from among more than 2,000 student podcasts from around the country.

The team behind the pod

Rockwall hugs the eastern shore of the lake and got its name from a wall-like thread of sandstone that unspools beneath the town. “Every street name sounds the same: Lakeshore, Club Lake, Lakeview, Lakeside, and so on…” says the podcast’s narrator, 8th-grader Harrison McDonald. “If it sounds like our town is boring, that’s because it is. But let’s zoom into the center of one of those neighborhoods, on Williams Middle School.”

That’s where Harrison, fellow 8th-grader Blake Turley and 7th-graders Kit Atteberry and Wesley Helmer made the podcast, as part of librarian Misti Knight’s broadcasting class. Knight began teaching Harrison and Blake last year, when they would make videos for the school’s morning announcements. “But then I realized how good [the boys] were, and so I would say this year, I’m honestly more their manager,” she laughs.

Meaning, often Ms. Knight just gives the boys the roughest of ideas and encourages them to get creative. Which is why, when Harrison came to her with an idea for NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge, she said, “Why not?”

Harrison’s interest in the contest surprised no one. He wears chunky headphones around his neck every day, like a uniform, and says he was raised on public radio. “[My family] have a system. On long road trips, we listen to This American Life. On shorter road trips, we listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”

Kit also brought a love of podcasting to the effort: “My dad got me into listening to podcasts, and we would just listen to them in the car and listen to them in the house. You know, he never really got into music. He was mostly into podcasts,” Kit says, especially The Moth.

For their entry, Harrison, Kit and the team wanted to explore how students at Williams Middle School, and likely every other middle and high school in the country, interact on social media. Specifically, when they go on a platform like TikTok or Instagram and create anonymous accounts to share things about school and their classmates.

“People feel anonymous, so they feel like they can do whatever they want”

For example: An account dedicated to pics of students considered “hot.”

“My friend was on there,” Blake says, “and I texted him, ‘Hey, do you know that you’re on this Instagram account?’ And he’s like, ‘What?!’ ”

Most of these accounts “aren’t even gossip,” Blake adds, “they’re just pictures of people sleeping, eating, acting surprised, acting sad.”

One account was dedicated entirely to pictures of students sleeping in class. On some accounts, students are in on the joke, but often they’re not, Harrison says.

“Through the internet … people feel anonymous, so they feel like they can do whatever they want — and get likes for it without any punishment.”

The boys found at least 81 of these accounts at Williams alone. Then they got a bold idea.

Fake it till you make it

“After seeing all of these social media pages, we decided it would be fun if we just made our own profile and posted fake gossip to see the impact it has and how it spreads through a middle school,” they explain in the podcast.

Fake gossip is putting it mildly.

“We knocked on our school police officer’s door and asked if he would pretend to arrest one of our A-V club members for the camera. Surprisingly, he actually agreed,” Harrison says.

It was the first video to go up on their new gossip account. “We didn’t think it would actually get anywhere, but less than 15 minutes later, we heard people starting to talk about it.”

Williams Middle School in Rockwall, Texas.

/ Cooper Neill for NPR

/

Cooper Neill for NPR

Williams Middle School in Rockwall, Texas.

Next up: The boys staged a fight in the band room, hoping a shaky camera and sound effects added in post-production would convince their classmates it was bigger and very real.

“Some of us would have kids walking up to us daily to tell us how we got absolutely destroyed in that fight or how they didn’t know we were in band. We were having fun with it now,” Harrison says in the podcast. “It didn’t take long for our fake account to start getting more followers than any other gossip account we could find.”

“Our generation prefers talking digitally”

As a social experiment, these four middle-schoolers went from quiet observers of social media to the school’s master muckrakers – even though everything they posted was utterly fake. In that way, the podcast works as a warning about the importance of media literacy — at a time when Americans half-a-century their senior are being suckered by social media every day.

But the podcast isn’t just a scold about fake news. It’s also about how, for kids their age, this is communication.

“We don’t pass notes, we send texts with our phones hidden under our desks,” Harrison says. “We don’t tell people about incidents that happened in class, we post it on TikTok. Our generation prefers talking digitally with each other from a distance, [rather] than communicating with each other in the real world.”

The boys named their podcast, The Worlds We Create.

Ms. Knight, a veteran teacher, says she’s seen these changes in students over the years.

An interior view of Williams Middle School in Rockwall, Texas.

/ Cooper Neill for NPR

/

Cooper Neill for NPR

An interior view of Williams Middle School in Rockwall, Texas.

“I just think there’s a lot less talking and a lot more, you know, swiping through their phone instead of saying, ‘Hey, guess what I saw today?’ ”

Knight has even seen it in her own family. “I would talk to my husband about, ‘Oh, did you see our eldest daughter?’ She lives in California. ‘She did this or whatever.’ And he would say, ‘How do you know this?’ ”

Her answer: “‘Because I’m following her social media and her friends’ social media.’ Because if you don’t do that, she’s probably not going to pick up the phone and call us and tell us.”

Is that inherently bad? Knight says, no, not necessarily. She does get to see more of what her daughters and her friends, far and wide, are doing.

The boys’ views are similarly complicated. All this “talking digitally” can be a real “curse” for teens, they say, especially when it hurts or excludes others. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

After all, the boys say, the whole purpose of technologies from radio to the telephone, TV to the internet, has always been to help us feel less alone and more connected – by helping us create worlds – and build communities – bigger than the ones we’re born into.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Media Evolution iPad winners announced – Energeticcity.ca

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Thank you for participating in the Media Evolution Project survey.  The survey closed at the end of April and we are currently reviewing the results.

Our goal is to take the feedback we’ve received from the survey and create changes and update policy so that Energeticcity.ca can improve its local news coverage.

The goal of the Media Evolution Project is to know and understand the local audience to become a better curator of local news, through thoughtfully and strategically connected stories that the community might find valuable, that will resonate with them, and that will have a meaningful impact on them.  Moorsaic Strategic Services, on behalf of Energeticcity.ca and Moose FM, is exploring how to serve the community better with news and stories that are relevant and to understand better how to increase reader trust and engagement.

We hope to share the results of the survey and some of the changes you’ll see on Energeticcity.ca this Spring.

With the survey, we held a draw for three iPad’s.  Anyone that participated in the survey and agreed to enter the draw had a chance to win.  The winners were picked at random using a random number generator.

Congratulations to John Boyer, Vera Walter and Karen Mason-Bennett who have each won a new iPad.

Watch for more updates on the Media Evolution: Striving to Serve project at www.energeticcity.ca/evolution or email our team at evolution@moorsaic.ca

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