Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Are Canadian media responsible for spreading viral news?

You can't pick up a Canadian newspaper, listen to radio or watch TV without hearing about H1N1, the vaccination process, supply issues, lineups...

But the story doesn't seem to have the same intensity in the U.S. It wasn't even mentioned in Conan O'Brien's monologue a couple of days ago (when it was the lead on CBC) - and talk show openings are often a good barometer of big news stories (as silly as that sounds).

I did a search of 'H1N1 vaccine' on Google this morning* and in the first 30 results, there were 25 Canadian stories; four U.S. stories; and one international story. That's over 80 per cent of today's coverage emanating from Canada.

Now, we all know a pandemic is a very serious situation. And I'm not saying we shouldn't do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus. It's important to be informed and educated.

But I wonder if Canadian media are making H1N1 a bigger story than it needs to be right at the moment.

What do you think?

*Search results as of 9:30 a.m., November 4, 2009

2 comments:

trevorcampbell said...

Interesting post, Martin. I think you're right. Canadian media and Canadians have lots to say about H1NI. For good reason, our healthcare officials and government have fanned the flames of confusion. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we've been given mixed messages which have led to confusion, panic and a lot of chatter.

Kaan Yucel said...

That is an interesting and exciting post, Martin. I think Canada is partly responsible for the confusion on the vaccination globally. I am receiving e-mails from my home country Turkey about the vaccination, should we or not? It has been a great issue there. There is only one paper -which was unpublished at that time- with results not in favor of the vaccination as far as I know. It has be replicated and we do not have time. Health authorities cared about this paper, from a public relations perspective I think. If it was an issue associated with medical research/literature, they would not care that much.