For the Record – How COVID-19 is changing the world of news

Sara Wasouf – April 9, 2020

Covid19 has impacted many industries in the world and many stopped working. However, for the news industry, it’s been busier than ever.

(brotiN biswaS / Pexels)

The world is a dynamic place that is constantly changing everyday, but only a few times in history has our world shifted like this. In just over a few weeks, a deadly virus turned our world upside down. COVID-19 changed the way people work, it forced schools and industries to close, and just about everyone is trying to adjust to a rapidly changing world. News too, has changed. Citytv’s Supervising Producer Kyle Donaldson says that in his 20 years of working in the news industry, he has never seen a topic take over media like this before.

“This is such a different cycle because it impacts absolutely every single person whether its your job, whether its your home, whether its your health, or your investments. It is hitting absolutely everyone on a scale that I don’t think we thought would be imaginable.” – Kyle Donaldson, Supervising Producer

Because the virus impacts everyone, news stations across Canada have seen an increase in viewers. According to a Comscore insight, from the start of March, Canadians consumed news at a record pace. Kyle Donaldson says that at Citytv, this is definitely the case.

“Our website numbers have tripled in comparison to numbers that we were getting last year.” – Kyle Donaldson, Supervising Producer

He goes on to say that it is due to the current situation.

“If you look at what people are consuming, COVID-19 and content around COVID-19, it’s the talk of the town, it’s the talk of the planet.” – Kyle Donaldson, Supervising Producer

With that, journalists are now busier than ever, bringing the news when its most in demand. But in the midst of a pandemic, they have had to change the way they do things.

“Almost everyday it feels like I’m in some kind of meeting talking about COVID and how it impacts our staff, our work environment.” – Kyle Donaldson, Supervising Producer

News outlets in Canada are seeing a spike in news consumption.

(Sara Wasouf)

At news stations like Citytv, the majority of reporters are now working remotely from home by doing interviews through programs like Zoom and Skype. The main broadcasters in Vancouver are also working together to make sure that material is easily shared throughout news stations in the city to minimize contact. Because during a crisis, the world turns to news.

In an interview, Citytv’s Kyle Donaldson goes in depth about how the news industry has shifted during the pandemic. To hear more, click below.