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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - May 2022

What we (the press) need to change before the next pandemic

The past two years of COVID have been one of the most frustrating times I have ever experienced as a media analyst, and it has illustrated how a feeling of entitlement in the western world undermined our ability to handle a pandemic.

Many, of course, will put the blame for this on either the political establishment, the health communities, or even the public itself. However, when you analyze it, it's pretty clear that we (the press) played a massive part in this with the way we focused on and reported about the virus.

As a media analyst, I have looked at this in absolute horror, and as time went by it just got worse and worse to the point where both the press and the public now believe in a version of reality that doesn't correspond to what is actually happening.

It is both astonishing and frightening to watch. And in this article, I want to talk about what those problems are, and how we need to change them.


Before I get into this article, I want to highlight a general problem I have when discussing the pandemic, which is that every country is different. When we think about the pandemic, there are six groups that have impacted how we have reacted to it.

In every country, these six groups have acted in different ways. In some countries, the government has acted with dismissal and negligence, whereas the health authorities have tried to do what they could. In other countries the government tried to do the right thing, but was undermined by the health authorities who refused to recommend action. And it's the same story with the other groups.

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Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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