In an era dominated by digital, the contrasting landscapes of credible and quality journalism and social media influencers have become more apparent than ever, especially in matters of healthcare. While social media influencers may attract attention with their glossy portrayals of health and wellness trends, quality journalism remains the trusted source that safeguards our well-being. And saves lives.
Social media influencers in the healthcare sphere can be quite a perilous presence. Their focus on aesthetics and quick fixes often overshadows the importance of professional medical advice. While they may promote trendy diets, unverified remedies, or questionable products, quality journalism should be that filter, critically examining health claims and separating fact from fiction.
Cost of misinformation
Journalism – especially that delivered with quality and consistency – can prevent financial losses caused by misinformation. The global economy loses an estimated $78 billion annually due to the spreading fake news and misleading information. This is why extra attention needs to be made to reduce the impact of false narratives and ensure informed decision-making.
In contrast, social media influencers and their biases often come at a significant cost. Businesses and consumers spend an estimated $1.3 billion yearly on products and services endorsed by influencers – products that actually require objective evaluations or proper scrutiny. This blind reliance on influencer content can lead to wasteful spending, unsatisfactory experiences, and even harm.
Misinformation spread through social media platforms has led to delayed medical interventions, and the proliferation of unnecessary risks. The healthcare system bears the burden of treating the consequences, incurring substantial costs that could have been avoided by disseminating accurate, science-backed information through quality and credible journalism.
The impact of quality journalism reaches beyond financial implications. It plays a crucial role in shaping public discourse and policy decisions. Quality journalism saves societies the immeasurable costs associated misinformation.
Think beyond financials too
Conversely, social media influencers, driven by personal gain derived from their popularity, devalue quality content. Traditional media outlets suffer as businesses allocate significant portions of their marketing budgets to influencer collaborations. This shift in advertising spending, away from reputable journalism, compromises the public’s right to reliable information.
Low-grade influencer content’s economic and societal costs can no longer be ignored. Recognising the substantial monetary savings and benefits derived from credible journalism is imperative. By actively supporting credible news outlets and embracing responsible journalism, we can protect our economies and foster a well-informed and engaged consumer capable of making sound decisions.