In case you haven’t been following global news, here is a quick recap of what happened so far in the USA. The country surged ahead to and held an undesirable pole position as far as global COVID-19 deaths in 2020 are concerned. CNN and other news services in the country ran stories about how this was a failure of leadership 24/7.

Then, a cop (for the umpteenth time) killed George Floyd (Yes, no typo. he killed him. We all saw the video). Americans hit the streets in protest. Their president told the police and the army to shoot the protesters (he is yet to condemn the cop, I think.) Then this weekend, he tweeted that he will be declaring the ANTIFA (abbreviation for anti-fascists) a terrorist organization (yet he has never declared gun-toting real fascists terrorists).

Also, Anonymous emerged out of the shadows (to understand how Anonymous and hacktivism works, listen to this podcast with Higinio β€œw0rmer Ochoa in which he explains how he joined Anonymous, hacked police databases, and was later arrested by the FBI) and leaked some allegedly damning documents along with Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book which allegedly alludes to many high profile people around the world who either visited his notorious island or traveled on his aeroplane.

For me the interesting part, and for this newsletter, is how then newsrooms like CNN, overnight, stopped advocating for social distancing, wearing of masks, and reducing the spread of the virus.

A protester carries an American flag next to a burning building on 29 May 2020, in Minneapolis. The protests have been ongoing across the world over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was murdered by a police officer. πŸ“· Julio Cortez / Associated Press

I mention this because almost overnight, mainstream media mostly seems to be ignoring that protesters are gathering in large numbers, and in some cases, not wearing masks. Let me clarify, I have no problem with the protests, what has caught my attention is the flip-flopping by the media.

This has had me asking some serious questions about how some newsrooms decide which stories and narratives are important when to run with them, and more importantly, their integrity. Integrity in the sense that you can’t one day be advocating for social distancing and staying home and then the following day you pretend as you had never said that.

Lastly, in this age where narratives can spread very quickly like wildfire thanks to social media, those with audiences and platforms with reach have an added responsibility of always being intellectually honest. You can run with the protests while simultaneously reminding people of the dangers of the virus.

Above all, we need to be cautious when reporting, a narrative, as we have witnessed many times, can easily catch fire on social media and by the time you try to water it down, the damage has been done.

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