Eliana Block, ’12
Multi-platform Content Creator, WUSA-TV
I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for this campaign, especially when there were so many good options to choose from. The undeniable heroes of this pandemic have been the frontline workers: doctors, nurses, police officers and EMTs, to name a few. And I am not one of them. But sometimes I get to tell their stories.
I am a segment producer at WUSA9, the local CBS-affiliate station, in Washington, D.C. You can also call me a fact-checker. Either way, if there’s misinformation spreading online or questions our viewers want answers to about something happening locally in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, it’s my job to research, interview, write it and get it on air.
Now more than ever, people need news they can trust. People want answers, instead of existing in uncertainty and fear. In a pandemic that has cast a shadow of the unknown, people are looking for the light. I hope that in some small way, I have helped illuminate the path.
Since January, I have reported on a number of COVID-19 related stories that revolved around debunking online conspiracies and fact-checking misinformation circulating on social media. I’ve helped unpack information about restrictions and executive orders and spent countless hours speaking with infectious disease specialists, scientists and physicians at some of the top institutions in the country. I’ve tried to research and learn, absorb and understand, untangle and relay information that continues to change, with relentless curiosity. And I do it because the public deserves to make informed decisions.
COVID presented new challenges, in a year dominated by protests, voting by mail and the election. It made, what would otherwise be an eventful year, pretty overwhelming. But all those long days and nights, tracking down answers about treatments and testing, vaccines and absentee ballots, debate points and political claims, has proven why journalism matters, especially in 2020.
A special thank you to my high school English teacher at ICJA, Mrs. Arons for fostering my love of English and continuing to mentor me for years after.