On March 26, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan further limited the businesses that can continue to operate in the province as a result of COVID-19. Among the “critical services” that are to be maintained are local and national media.
Journalists across our province are continuing to provide up-to-date and important information to citizens. They continue to attend press conferences, ask our leaders important questions, try to digest and disseminate important health-related information and disabuse individuals of potentially dangerous misinformation.
Having reliable and professional information broadcast to a wide audience (through newspapers, television and social media) is incredibly important for our public officials to provide updates on this crisis. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, and Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, have, through the media, imparted daily updates on the medical risks and transmission of the virus. Our political leaders have warned residents through daily press briefings on the importance of social distancing to attempt to flatten the curve.
In addition to providing important health information, the media has provided messages of hope and resilience. Media organizations have covered:
- The outpouring of support for marginalized youth in Saskatoon: https://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/the-helpers-in-saskatoon-an-outpouring-of-support-for-youth/
- Families working out together at home while practicing social distancing: https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/more-saskatoon-families-working-out-together-at-home-during-isolation-physical-distancing-1.4870362 and
- Veterinarians assisting pets from outside of their clinics: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-curbside-veterinary-medicine-animal-health-covid-19-1.5511951.
In recent years, the media has been vilified in some corners. However, it is at times like these, that the importance of the press is highlighted. We see journalists, every day, digesting quickly changing information, trying to weed out “fake news” and doing so at potential personal peril as they attend briefings and track down stories. The media has proven itself to be a “critical service” to the public.
For more information, please contact:
Sean M. Sinclair