Communicate, but communicate well

Before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, my daily routine included listening to the Today programme on Radio 4. The radio went on first thing in the morning and continued in the car on my way to work.

I like to keep myself informed of current affairs. It’s important for my work and I’ve always had an interest in what’s going on at home and abroad.

Switching to Zoe Ball

I did get frustrated when we were going through Brexit about the amount of air time dedicated to that subject. Some days, I even switched over to Radio 2! Zoe Ball’s breakfast show is a very different listening experience to Nick Robinson and Mishal Husain.

But this was nothing compared with the overwhelming and all-encompassing air time that is being given to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Please don’t get me wrong, I know it’s important for us all to understand and abide by Government advice. But is it really necessary to spend all of every single news programme only on this subject? There are so many other important things happening at home and in the world. What about the tragedy in Yemen? What about the on-going crisis in the Syrian / Turkish border? What about our future economy when we leave Europe? What about Extinction Rebellion?

What could happen, what might be ….

Not only that, often the coverage isn’t even news. A lot of the time it’s speculation about what could happen, what might be, what the Government may implement, what the Government should do.

I work in communications and spend my life trying to construct timely, well-written, accurate and appropriately targeted messages. I know from this experience that if you bombard people with too much information (especially if it contains mixed messages) you risk confusing or alarming them. Or, like me, they’ll switch off entirely.

So I’ve started listening to Zoe Ball again. There are regular news bulletins on her programme, so I know what’s happening with Coronavirus and what I need to do. I’m not burying my head in the sand. I’m getting the information that’s just enough to keep me and my loved ones safe.

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