Miami Newscast Offers Conflicting Praise Towards the Ease of Covid-19 Restrictions

By Kassandra Lopez, Global Strategic Communications graduate student at the University of Florida

Ah, Miami. Miami-Dade County. The 305. Birthplace of Pitbull, North Cuba as many would affectionately call it, and a Coronavirus hotspot like no other. My love of my hometown is often shadowed by my embarrassment of it. While I’ll happily embrace my unique Miamian culture, I also shutter at the term “Miami girl”. As a local who recently got their job back (after 7 months) due to the lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions, I am conflicted with my feelings of such restrictions. This newscast in question echoes my own personal feelings, while it informs the public of the danger of lifting these restrictions, it also gently reminds viewers that many are at the mercy of these restrictions in order to work and provide for their families.

This newscast is conflicting, as it is pushing forth a muddled agenda. Agenda setting is when the reality of a situation is downplayed or exaggerated by news media to alter the public perception of a situation. The broadcast and accompanying article try to maintain a non-bias and professional outlook on the story, but sets an agenda that skews to supporting the reopening out of necessity.

Image can be accessed here.

While still maintaining its key journalistic qualities by sharing the negative aspects of what is going on. But as the newscaster speaks of the dangers, images of our Miami-Dade leaders speaking about the need to lessen these restrictions are far more convincing to a Miamian than the statistics of a stranger. More so- when they ask parents how they feel, they demonstrate that all those interviewed express caution but urge the need for schools to be open. It is hard to form a negative opening on the reopening, as the very persons impacted by it (business ownders, potential patrons, and parents) are being positive.

A sound bite by Mayor of Miami, Francis X.Suarez echoes in my head “…I think this will give restaurants and businesses the opportunity to recover, and create more jobs.” To be frank, the images of Wynwood bars and restaurants with lines around the block did make me physically shutter. Yet, my logical brain understands that I was personally impacted by these closures. My job as social media manger for a casino was put on pause. I attended dozens of interviews in the last 7 months, only to be passed off for other unemployed and over qualified applicants or offered pennies due to the heavy competition.

I myself was seeing overdue bills pile up- and my mortgage go unattended due to the dire necessity of needing a job during this pandemic. I know the plight of my friends whom are parents. Who would not be able to go to their own jobs if they had to continue homeschooling them. And just like this newscast, I have a very muddled agenda. I preach for people around me to stay safe, and am a self-proclaimed mask enforcement officer. I also acknowledge heavily the need to have establishments operating. To accompany this conflicting saga, I leave you this little tune… “the pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it...” (but Miamians still need to pay their bills, ya feel me?).

First-gen Cuban and Argentine. Full-time Marketer. BA in Humanities/Cultural Traditions, Art History + Anthro. MA in Global Communications + Social Media