Spreading Ebola Panic: Newspaper and Social Media Coverage of the 2014 Ebola Health Crisis

Danielle K. Kilgo, Joseph Yoo, Thomas J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

During times of hot crises, traditional news organizations have historically contributed to public fear and panic by emphasizing risks and uncertainties. The degree to which digital and social media platforms contribute to this panic is essential to consider in the new media landscape. This research examines news coverage of the 2014 Ebola crisis, exploring differences in presentation between newspaper coverage and news shared on the social news platform Reddit. Results suggest that news shared on Reddit amplified panic and uncertainty surrounding Ebola, while traditional newspaper coverage was significantly less likely to produce panic-inducing coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-817
Number of pages7
JournalHealth communication
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

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