Are Canadian media responsible for spreading viral news?

You can’t pick up a Canadian newspaper, listen to radio or watch TV without hearing about H1N1, the vaccination process, supply issues, lineups…

But the story doesn’t seem to have the same intensity in the U.S. It wasn’t even mentioned in Conan O’Brien’s monologue a couple of days ago (when it was the lead on CBC) – and talk show openings are often a good barometer of big news stories (as silly as that sounds).

I did a search of ‘H1N1 vaccine’ on Google this morning* and in the first 30 results, there were 25 Canadian stories; four U.S. stories; and one international story. That’s over 80 per cent of today’s coverage emanating from Canada.

Now, we all know a pandemic is a very serious situation. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s important to be informed and educated.

But I wonder if Canadian media are making H1N1 a bigger story than it needs to be right at the moment.

What do you think?

*Search results as of 9:30 a.m., November 4, 2009

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