Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine Flu or Sweeps Flu?

Not to deny it's potential harm, but how much of the Swine Flu outbreak threat is real and how much is media hype?  

Considering on average, 20,000 people die  in the U.S. from the flu annually, and only 1 U.S. fatality has been attributed to the current H1N1 flu strain outbreak, is the constant barrage and news breaking  interruptions, about it a real cause for alarm or are the news networks trying to keep you scared...and tuned in?  

On April 24th, NBC Nightly News (and others) began with a report about a deadly flu outbreak in Mexico City. Coincidentally, on April 23rd, Neilsen Media Research began it's data collection for what is typically referred to as May Sweeps, upon which broadcasters set their advertising rates.  

So even though most U.S. swine flu cases have been mild, so far, and most swine flu patients have recovered without being hospitalized, expect TV news to exploit it for all it's worth.  At least until May Sweeps end on the 20th. 

1 comment:

Jorge said...

Damn until I read this I was puzzled at why the media was hyping this story which is obviously a garden variety flu outbreak. Now I know! Thanks Michael, Grossao