Tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. ET, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband will hold a hearing titled “Shot of Truth: Communicating Trusted Vaccine Information.”
This hearing will examine the role of the media in disseminating vaccine safety and COVID health related information to encourage Americans, particularly those in rural areas and in communities of color, to get vaccinated. The hearing will also explore the government’s role in providing vaccine safety information through internet, cable TV, broadcast TV and radio, and address what more can be done to encourage media outlets to promote reliable and trustworthy vaccine information.
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith will testify before the committee, speaking on behalf of broadcasters and the work they have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their communities safe and informed.
“Despite facing major economic and physical challenges created by the pandemic, local broadcasters stepped up to provide their communities with accurate and timely information on COVID-19 on every platform – on air, online and through social media,” says Smith in his prepared remarks. Not only are broadcasters working to educate the public, they are focused on addressing the mistrust that exists and acknowledge the concern among vulnerable communities.
Earlier this year, NAB launched a Vaccine Toolkit with continually updated resources to help local stations share news and information about the vaccine rollout with their listeners and viewers. The toolkit provides research, sample messaging and suggested tactics to help local journalists craft vaccine education messages that will best resonate with their audiences.
NAB also recently spoke to Mariela Romero, regional community empowerment director with Univision Atlanta, Philadelphia and Raleigh, in the latest Voices From The Field. Romero shared her personal journey in broadcasting and discusses the many ways Univision stations are helping educate Spanish speaking audiences about the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging communities to get vaccinated.
“We had to activate at so many levels, the information for our community…they didn’t know where to turn to but us. And that is the power of broadcasters,” said Romero. “They trust us so much and they rely upon the information that we bring them.”
As Americans’ most-trusted source for news, local radio and television stations understand their responsibility to deliver reliable, fact-based journalism and have demonstrated their indelible value.
The hearing will be livestreamed on commerce.senate.gov tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET.