Media, Western Nations Must Learn Lessons From Ebola Epidemic, Prepare For Next Outbreak

Vox: Reporters got a lot wrong covering Ebola. We should do better next time.
Julia Belluz, Vox reporter

“We journalists often rush from one story to the next with whiplash-inducing speed — and sometimes without time to reflect. On Monday, however, a few of us paused. Just as Liberia was finally declared Ebola-free, I appeared on a panel organized by the ONE Campaign alongside colleagues from NPR, the Washington Post, Ebola Deeply, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together, we looked back at how the media dealt with the epidemic. … The challenge of being respectful, compassionate, and not exploitative while reporting was one we all felt…” (5/12).

The New Yorker: Sharing the Blame for the Ebola Crisis
Michael Specter, New Yorker staff writer

“…We in the West deserve a heavy share of the blame for the intensity of the Ebola epidemic. We managed to express hysteria at home while paying little attention to the people who were truly affected. During America’s infection with Ebola Fear, which had a more powerful impact in this country than the actual virus, the press and political leaders managed to denigrate the people who sacrificed the most to fight the epidemic in Africa. The WHO has acknowledged acting too slowly. But it is hard to argue with the conclusion of the new report: ‘”Business as usual” or “more of the same” is not an option.’ That verdict should, clearly, also apply to the world’s richest countries…” (5/13).