Health Promot Perspect. 2014;4(2): 247-251.
doi: 10.5681/hpp.2014.032
PMID: 25649411
PMCID: PMC4300452
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Short Communication

Coverage of the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Three Widely Circulated United States Newspapers: Implications for Prepared­ness and Prevention

Corey H Basch*, Charles E Basch, Irwin Redlener


Background:Widespread media attention about Ebola influences public awareness and interest, yet there is limited research on what aspects of Ebola have and have not been communicated through the media. Methods:We examined the nature and extent of coverage about Ebola in the three most widely circulated United States (U.S.) daily newspapers. Between September 17, 2014 and October 17, 2014, 301 articles about Ebola in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal were identified and coded. Results:The most common topic was coverage of cases in the United States (39%), followed by the outbreak in Africa (33.6%). Conclusion:This is the first study to describe coverage of the Ebola epidemic in widely circulated U.S. newspapers. A substantial portion of the American public is concerned about being infected with Ebola virus disease (EVD). In this study, a large emphasis was placed on death tolls and the cases in the United States. Much more can be done to educate readers about relevant aspects of the Ebola epidemic, including how Ebola is and is not transmitted.
Keywords: Ebola, Virus, Epidemic, USA
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Submitted: 25 Nov 2014
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