Tip: Avoid alarmist reporting on school reopenings


Credit: Photo by kyo azuma on Unsplash

As coverage of the coronavirus pandemic continues, news outlets turn their attention to schools which are reopening after the lockdown period. When reporting on such important issues, dramatising the facts can be just as damaging as down-playing them, and journalists may face criticism for causing misplaced worry.

Education writer Alexander Russo offers best practices for covering school reopenings in an article for The Grade, the independent analysis section of education magazine, Kappan.

When reporting on the true reality of infection and transmission, Russo suggests that putting figures and anecdotes into context is more effective than simply providing raw data and quotes which, taken out of context, may scare readers.

“Dramatic quotes are important, too. Go ahead and use them, but then contextualise what’s being said. Does the sentiment being expressed match the research?” it reads.

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