Have the experts become the story during the pandemic? And if so, are we getting a true picture of what’s happening and what could happen?
Since the pandemic struck in early 2020, a small class of experts have become modern-day rock stars. The medical-industrial complex has quickly become the perfect foil to the under-resourced mainstream media, adding easy credibility to the constant stream of COVID-19 clickbait. The only problem with these ready-to-cook experts is that, as with all professions, not all experts are created equal. (The same, of course, can be said for pretty much any field, be it accountants, investors, house painters or footballers.)
That is not to say we should think less of the experts. If anything, years of study should (and often does) add credibility. The difference with COVID reporting is that the experts have largely become the story, many actively courting the media. This creates a perverse incentive — the small cadre of experts are motivated to be more controversial and hyperbolic, which gets even more media exposure, exacerbating the cycle of doom.
Let’s look a bit more closely at some members of this small pool of go-to experts who continue to shape how millions of Australians view COVID.
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