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Reporting or Sensationalizing? How We Talk About Ebola

CDC Global
Creative Commons
Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria.

Last week, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille’s plans to speak at Syracuse University were unexpectedly halted when university officials “uninvited” du Cille -- citing concern over his recent trip to Liberia, where he’d been covering the Ebola outbreak. 

The incident at Syracuse along with the recent Ebola scare in New Haven got us thinking about the way we, the media, have been handling our coverage of the virus.

How does the way we report on Ebola impact the the public’s perception of the outbreak? And what precautions should we be taking to avoid creating hysteria?

This hour, we talk to journalism and medical experts in an effort to answer some of these questions.


  • Dr. John Nwangwu - Professor of public health at Southern Connecticut State University; consultant for the World Health Organization
  • Marcel Dufresne - Associate professor of journalism at UConn
  • Paul Slovic - A founder and President of Decision Research
  • Arielle Levin Becker - Health reporter at The Connecticut Mirror
  • Kristen Hare - Reporter with the Poynter Institute

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.

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