SFA Insights: Real Issues with Fake Newsaleksandra@ey3media.com
The death of Prince Philip; injecting disinfectant; 5G originating the virus. These are just some of the myths that have spread as fast as COVID-19 itself through news channels and WhatsApp groups alike over the past 8 weeks.
But not all are so easily dismissed as fake news. Take food security. As eggs, tinned tomatoes and flour disappeared from supermarkets in a puff of hysteria, governments worldwide took steps to sure-up food supplies. And for many exporters, this included the unlikely option of banning the export of staple goods.
In this febrile media environment, it doesn’t take long for an off-hand comment from a government official to make headlines and set alarm bells ringing in regions like the Gulf where 80% of food is imported. Our work with a major grain exporter in Ukraine led a programme that helped bring balance to the narrative and provide some calm.
What’s been clear is that business leaders can use their expertise in these uncertain times to provide reassurance in an environment where consistent – sometimes credible – communications are in short supply.