BBC Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis has received quite a bit of praise on Twitter for her opening remarks on her latest programme. Maitlis called out the language surrounding the coronavirus crisis and denounced the suggestion that the pandemic would impact everyone equally. “The disease is not a great leveller, the consequences of which everyone, rich or poor, suffers the same,” she said.
“This is a myth which needs debunking. Those on the front line right now — bus drivers and shelf stackers, nurses, care home workers, hospital staff and shop keepers — are disproportionately the lowest paid members of our workforce. They are more likely to catch the disease because they are more exposed.”
And she added: “Those who live in tower blocks and small flats will find the lockdown a lot tougher. Those who work in manual jobs will be unable to work from home.”
This is a stark contrast to some of the TV news reporting we’ve seen in India across major news channels in India. News anchors have either obediently responded to the prime minister’s pied piper calls on clanging pots and lighting lamps, or they have used the pandemic to communalise the situation.