Article Review: Fake News in The Age of COVID-19

The year of 2020 has taken a drastic turn for the worse since the appearance of COVID-19,  and the media played a huge role relaying informations about the virus in the beginning of the pandemic, even false informations.

COVID-19

« The COVID-19 pandemic has come to dominate the media, both domestically and abroad. Alongside increased attention on the pandemic, has come the viral spread of COVID-19 fake news online. »

Says Dr. Greg Nyilasy, who is also a teacher at the University of Melbourne, in this article published on April 10th 2020 in Inside Business.

The article is about misinformation and fake news that was spread by the media and on the internet, in this new age of COVID-19. The new virus was, and still is a hot topic for all the media around the world. And during those times, a lot of fake news about the virus were published by the media, or by the population. Some were saying that it was a bioweapon created by the Chinese or the US government or that the virus could be cured using drugs etc.

Twitter-COVID

Basically, Dr. Greg Nyilasy is demonstrating the impact of misinformation about the virus on the population, the society.
By doing that, he uses a lot sources like the “ESOC of Princeton University” or the “Yale University”, cnet, and some of them are famous, like “The New York Times” or the “ABC News”.

He states that new technologies, that usually are useful, can affect the
consumers, when they’re used in a bad way, which is the case with fake news on social medias for example. But some fake news is spread intentionally by people to scare others, or to redirect the blame on a certain group of people. The article says that it’s called disinformation.

Misinformation, on the other hand, is spread by the people who have a wrong understanding of the situation, of the virus. They usually hear the information from another person, or on social media, or it could be just their opinion about the situation and the virus.

Dr. Greg Nyilasy says that we need clear instructions from an organization that is supposed to be trustworthy, like the government itself. They do play a key role, they have to be informative and guide the population so that fake news have less impact.

Why the population can be easily influenced by fake news in a time of crisis ? It’s probably because people tend to be scared easily when something is unknown, when something that has never happened to them before, is suddenly happening, and the fact that they don’t understand exactly how it works  can make it worse.

So they need explanations, they need to know if they’re safe, what they have to do, how to deal with it, and how it happened in the first place.
They need information, and when they’re scared, they tend to believe fake information more easily, on social medias like Twitter or Whatsapp, and it’s understandable, we can’t blame them for being scared. But we have to limit the false news, and give these people the right information, so they can be reassured, so they can start doing the right things.
But we also have to be more careful of what we are seeing, reading, and we need to think objectively before making any decisions, especially in times like this.

Sources : https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/fake-news-in-the-age-of-covid-19

Happy Mother’s Day!

Throughout the month of May, the celebration of mothers takes place.
As we all know, the responsibility of motherhood is huge, and the mental load can easily be very stressful.

This holiday exists so we can show appreciation to women who have an influence on our lives, whether it is our biological mother, our stepmother, our adoptive mother, a mother-to-be, a mother who has passed away, and the list goes on.
Hopefully we all have a mother figure in our lives that is there to support us, to help us make the right decisions, and to care for us. 

A bit of history…

This holiday has its own history, depending on the country. 

The celebration of a mother figure is known to have started in ancient Greece, when people celebrated Rhea, the Great Mother of the Gods.
During the 16th century, Christians used to celebrate Mothering Sunday in the UK, a very religious commemoration at the time that honored women and their children.
Mother’s Day, as we know it nowadays, started in the United States. The first women to desire to start this tradition were Julia Howe and Ann Jarvis, who campaigned for a peaceful celebration in the late 1800s. In 1908, the first Mother Day’s celebration took place as Ann’s daughter organized a private memorial for Ann, who had recently passed away.
This idea quickly spread throughout the whole country, even if the proposal to make it an official holiday was denied at first. Eventually, in 1914, the President of the United States accepted it as a national holiday, held every year on the second Sunday of May. After that, several countries all around the world followed up the tradition and officialised this holiday… But what about France?

Mother’s Day in France

The origins of this holiday in France are quite different from what I have just told you about.

In the early 1800s, the French emperor Napoléon I, thought of creating a day where people would celebrate mothers of large families. This idea did not come to life until 1896, as a way of motivating people to be more family-oriented and have more children. Shortly, during the first decade of the 20th century, mothers of big families were starting to get honored as much as the fathers. 

French people would have to wait until the end of World War I to start celebrating Mother’s Day inspired by the American tradition.
In 1918 a celebration took place to honor the women who lost their husbands in battle.  Mother’s Day became an official holiday in the following years, with the intention of celebrating and honoring mothers and their involvement in their family’s lives.
In 1950, a law was passed stating that Mother’s Day would occur every year on the last Sunday of May. However, if the Pentecost (Christian holiday after Easter) happens on that same Sunday, Mother’s Day is postponed to the first Sunday of June. And guess what? That is what is going to happen this year! Mother’s Day in France will be celebrated on June 7th of 2020.

The new way of celebrating Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, which was first created to make mothers feel appreciated, has now been highly exploited. In fact, retailers quickly understood how this holiday could be beneficial for them and started to take advantage of it.

From Mother’s Day pre-made cards to expensive gifts, the commercialization of this holiday is one of the most successful ways to make money in most developed countries.

What could we do to make Mother’s Day less of a commercial holiday?

Well, there are a lot of possibilities! 

    • Instead of buying pre-made cards at your local supermarket, you could make your own.
      It is quite easy, fast and you have the power to do whatever you want to your card – make it simple or extravagant, you decide!
    • Write a letter to the mother figure you want to celebrate.
      Writing letters is a lost art. Unlike cards, which are meant to be aesthetically pleasing, take this chance to express yourself and tell them how much they mean to you.
    • Food, food, food!
      You could prepare her a little something to eat, in order to show her your appreciation. Whether it is breakfast in the morning or any other meal, this is a lovely idea that would make anyone happy.
    • A drawing goes a long way.
      The simplest things can bring the most happiness in life. If you are an artsy person, you could definitely draw something cute and give it to her as a gift.
    • Make use of your printer.
      Some moments are so special that they become part of the highlights of our lives. Do not hesitate to print a picture (or a picture collage) that means a lot to both of you.
    • Most importantly, do not forget to tell her how much you care about her.
      Sometimes we do not show much affection to the ones we care about the most. This is the perfect opportunity to remind them how important they are to you.

Hopefully, you enjoy this year’s Mother’s Day close to the women you appreciate the most in your life. If not, do not forget that distance does not invalidate your feelings. Cherish the sweet memories!
Also, keep in mind that there are various celebrations honoring other family members such as fathers and grandparents and they are just as important! Appreciate your relationship with others and keep on making great memories.

A horror and mystery story, a Horror Story by Manon Caulier

The English Newsletter editorial team read through many horror stories, written by the 5th year students of Advanced English course, and chose 3 stories to be published on the blog. We invite you to discover one story per week, every Friday!

For this last week, let’s discover A horror and mystery story, a Horror Story by Manon Caulier !

And if you miss the other horror stories, you can check it out here and here!

Is the victim who we think of?, a Horror Story by Marie Madec

The English Newsletter editorial team read through many horror stories, written by the 5th year students of Advanced English course, and chose 3 stories to be published on the blog. We invite you to discover one story per week, every Friday!

For this second week, let’s read Is the victim who we think of?, a Horror Story by Marie Madec !

And if you miss the first horror story, you can check it out here !