Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, local television and radio broadcasters have played a critical role in keeping their communities informed about the virus, hospitalization and infection rates and best practices, such as social distancing. With vaccines now available to all Americans aged 16 and up, this role is more important than ever as broadcasters work to educate viewers, answer their questions and target misinformation.
In January, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) launched an online toolkit to help local journalists craft COVID-19 vaccine education messages that best resonate with their audiences. The toolkit includes information and resources to create news reports, public service announcements and other messages related to vaccine safety, effectiveness and distribution. All these resources can be found at nab.org/vaccine.
Research shows that most Americans are eager to get vaccinated, but want to be sure they know the facts when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. This hesitancy is often increased in Black communities, rural communities and other underserved populations.
To combat this, local stations across the country are working to share factual information about the vaccine deployment in their communities with everything from livestreamed events with medical experts to podcasts interviewing frontline workers about their experiences. Click here to see how broadcasters in your community are providing trusted information on vaccines.
NAB has spotlighted a variety of experts, including pediatrician Dr. Rhea Boyd, co-developer of THE CONVERSATION, a national campaign created to combat vaccine hesitancy and provide Black communities with information about COVID-19 vaccines, who joined the NAB Podcast this week to tell broadcasters how they can help. Click here to listen to Dr. Boyd’s insights.
NAB’s latest Voices From the Field interview features Mariela Romero, regional community empowerment director with Univision Atlanta, Philadelphia and Raleigh, who discusses the many ways Univision stations are helping to educate Spanish speaking audiences about the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging communities to get the shot. Watch the interview here.
Local television and radio stations are providing a lifeline to communities, and the hope of a bright new day as more people get vaccinated.