By Esther Zoza
HAVANA TIMES – A few days ago, I went up to a group of teenagers who were wearing their masks around their necks. It was so obvious, that I dared to ask them why they were doing this. The answer came like a bullet: have you seen anybody on the news wear one?
It’s true, TV hosts on the news and other shows don’t always wear a mask, and that’s wrong. They are the first image we receive with the news, and their image should reflect the severity of the situation, as the risk of getting sick since the new COVID-19 outbreak is greater.
News hosts have to know that the information they are communicating is being received by a diverse audience. In order to transmit the news on any media platform, you need to know that we don’t all have the same academic, cultural and social background. You also need to know that the message won’t always be understood with the same efficiency by everyone.
Body language is important
It would be a good idea to remember that the viewer is not only paying attention to what is being said. Body language, tone, intention, posture and the time of day form a whole that will turn the host into something more important than the news being communicated.
It’s not surprising that some young people in our city have misunderstood the message. It’s not surprising that their parents aren’t on top of them neither. There are many reasons why children and young people in the neighborhood spend all day out on the street, in COVID-19 times or otherwise. However, it’s harder to understand why the media haven’t come up with enough strategies. Ones that explain, in detail, the dangers of this disease in a way that everybody can understand.
I remember that a few years ago, you would see cars drive around the neighborhood with a speaker on top. They were inviting people to every fair and concert. I think that picking up this practice would be of good use, especially in neighborhoods, where young people play in puddles and ditches, far from the main avenues, with their masks around their necks like a neckerchief.