Press conference after press conference after press conference. The president, the governor, the mayor — practically everyone wants to get in on the overwhelming media overload that our time of social distancing has become. But it should end now.
Two months ago, when everything was fluid and the information from governments across the country and the world was inconsistent, these press conferences made sense. They provided essential information on our developing situation, and in the case of Rhode Island, allowed for localized guidance.
To some extent, these press conferences were also comforting. Our leaders — most of them, anyway — gave the indication that even if the situation wasn’t under control, we were measuring what was happening and would get through this together.
And then a month passed, then another. The situation is no longer developing; there are no longer pressing questions that hold dramatic importance to the average person. Now, press conferences have become a burden. There’s little new being said, few questions being answered and next to no one watching.
Even as states begin to re-open, the information on the staging and new regulation being put in place is better conveyed through documents and infographics, not press conferences. Sure, it may be advantageous from a political perspective for Gina Raimondo to get an hour of free advertising on WPRI, but isn’t there better ways to spend her time?
Press conferences increase the accountability of our leaders, and the increased opportunity for local media to question those in power is a positive change. For the record, this is about the only time you’ll see me arguing against press conferences. But when little new information is being shared and the risk of gathering for a conference is still high, what need is there for the high frequency of press conferences we’re experiencing now?
Another consideration is the spread of misinformation. While most press conferences over the past two months have been used effectively to clear up confusion, some — like what we saw from the White House — have only fueled the fire. Such spread of falsehoods is dangerous and completely undermines the original purpose of the conferences.
Just like the inundation of content from every corner of our life, the use of press conferences has become redundant and overwhelming. They are no longer serving their purpose, and can be more sparse while still serving the same purpose.
It’s time to quit with the press conferences.
Read More 990WBOB
Unbiased, Unfiltered. WBOB's Original Reads feature our brightest and boldest personalities, offering their two-cents on the goings on of news, sports, politics, entertainment, and business. -- Are our opinions always PC? Nope. Are they always perfect? Nah. But, are they always 100% authentic? Absolutely!