Has COVID-19 Killed Broadcast?

John Dills, Staff Writer

The emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 changed society. Essential workers were brought to the front and continued to work throughout the pandemic without a break. Almost two years later, masks, testing and vaccines are the ways that many people find safety through the pandemic. 

 The Center for Disease Control is recommending that “people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving, follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.” These isolation times have decreased since the CDC gave the original isolation guidelines. Many are concerned that isolation times have reduced for the reason of keeping employees in the workforce. 

Broadcast also suffered during the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 have made broadcasters work from home or even stay in their news stations more, so they can less commonly be around groups of people. These situations have put immense pressure on broadcasters due to not being able to be a part of an event taking place. While broadcasters can still do most of the job from behind a computer screen, many broadcasters still wish they could go out for their jobs.  

Those who want to remain COVID conscious are choosing to work from home still, but others are getting back out into their communities. For broadcasters, their bread and butter is their community because that is who they broadcast for. While information can still be presented remotely, broadcasters do often wish they had the ability to be around others during the pandemic. 

As the pandemic is becoming a new normal for most people, jobs are beginning to open back up. According to IBISWorld, “the average business in the television broadcasting industry in the US now employs more workers than it did five years ago,” meaning the job market is accepting more employees now than they have in the last half-decade. College graduates going into broadcast journalism now are less stressed about graduating during a pandemic and excited to start their careers. 

The answer is no; COVID-19 did not kill broadcast. While jobs may have decreased when the pandemic began, jobs in the industry are on the rise. We may not know what the future of broadcast journalism looks like, but we do know that it will be a bright one.