Op-ed: Reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mariah Arviso, Reporter

The job as a reporter is important, now more than ever, during this outbreak of COVID-19. 

The goal of both reporters and journalists is to give unbiased facts and newsworthy information about any current situation. As COVID-19 exceptionally got worse, the public has continued to go to the media to get the information desired for.  Personally, this has caused a lot of stress on my part as a student reporter.  

One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t control the way people receive the information, whether it causes fear, anger, or any other emotions. Reporting has always been fast paced, but since the pandemic started, everyone is expecting any new information to surface as soon as possible. 

“I feel like reporter’s jobs are extremely important for public information. People don’t realize that without reporters, we would all be in the dark about anything going on around us,” Bakersfield College Student, Gustavo Lopez, said.  

As a student reporter, I don’t experience how it is to be a hired reporter, I don’t receive constant backlash from the public when they feel there is incorrect information in my reporting.  

The one downfall I’ve experienced is that most, or all, of my writing has been about COVID-19 which is completely understandable. Having to constantly write about the same topic has proven to be rather difficult when there is little to no information about the virus itself. 

Although my audience is small compared to other reporters, the importance of being a journalist has really changed for me these past weeks. The job as a reporter has always been important to me, or else I wouldn’t have chosen to major in journalism, but I never really experienced how much people rely on the media until now.  

“There are people who are wanting vital information during this time, and we play a role in that. You can tell people want to talk about this [COVID-19], they want to get information out, and it makes you feel like what you’re doing is important,” Bakersfield Californian reporter, Stacey Shepard, said. 

Shepard explained that because of the fast-paced news cycle, there has been more pressure to get every aspect of the news out quickly. This is something, personally, I can relate to because of the constant moving cycle of new information being outpoured. Being a reporter during this pandemic can be extremely stressful, but nothing as small as a little stress will take away the importance of being an outlet for the people.