How many influencers have used the Covid 19 pandemic as a way to manipulate the media?

During this pandemic many thoughts wander through the mind and is hard to see what is going on around us with the mainstream media blasting content down our throats at every angle. After some thought went into to it, I wondered how many massive media representatives have been using this pandemic and its difficulties to their advantage.

This became apparent after watching some fellow students on a panel talking about Stephen Nolan from the Nolan’s show recent visit to the holy lands to showcase and portray how bad things were getting in terms of Covid 19 restrictions and guideline violations.

The well-known presenter made an effort to walk through the streets during peak times to exaggerate the gatherings and to make the students living there look bad. This had a massive knock on affect after this showcase as the media started blaming any spike in the covid 19 virus as a result of the students living in the holy lands.

This presenter seen an opportunity to approach drunken students who in their defence were only trying to make the best of these current times and enjoy student life. But the presenter knew when he challenged the drunk students that they would react accordingly and when provoked they did so which was exactly what the producers wanted to support their media efforts.

This brought a dark cloud over all students heads in my eyes as being a student myself in the holy lands I couldn’t help feel that anywhere I went people would assume I am part of the rise in Covid spike and therefore I and others who live in these areas are to blame.

Many other media influencers such as local members of parliament took to the high horse when the Covid pandemic hit as they used this as any way to gain media spotlight. In my opinion you don’t see these representatives do much unless it’s in the spotlight of the media to gain votes come election time. So, when the pandemic struck, they kicked into action doing anything at all to gain media spotlight to showcase their efforts in assisting the global pandemic.

Since it’s a global pandemic I will also have to talk about the biggest media representative in America of course! Donald trump tested positive for covid despite all the presidential efforts and strict guidelines. His son Eric trump spoke to CNN news when his father was not well. He stated that one day his father was that sick he thought he would lose him. Yet days later after this new vaccine “the cure” he was a different man and that no one could have done what his father has done for the covid vaccine front and how far they have come in terms of a cure. This in my opnion is a massive political stunt to gain the American vote again and I would dare say the president didn’t even have covid.

I’m not saying that I’m against all of these media representatives and influencers as I will still vote for whoever during election time and I will continue to watch the Stephen Nolan show but I’m highlighting the fact that all of these people only used the media spotlight to showcase something in order to gain support or to create a media campaign to create content. I believe this is not the type of thing that these people should be doing during this time rather than use their access to such a great media following to promote positivity and forward-thinking suggestions to making life easier during these scary times.

Dion Stewart is a third year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at LinkedIn.