By MEAGHAN McCLURE
As with any troubling issue, it only really starts to shake you once it hits close to home. This was definitely the case with the Ebola coverage in the news media lately.
Ebola had always had a constant presence in the news media – about the outbreaks in Liberia and other faraway African countries, but it was always one of those news stories on the back-burner. The status of the virus was constantly updated, and although it was always concerning, it was never a major concern for the average American.
However, with the first U.S. case reported in Dallas, news coverage is definitely now telling a different story.
All the major news outlets, like CNN for example, have multiple articles about the deadly spreading of the virus on the front pages and home sites. Once we as the public heard about the Dallas case, there were then talks about other possible cases in the Miami airport and in Washington, D.C.
Now, instead of just hearing how the Ebola virus was affecting different countries in a very general way, we are learning about the victims of Ebola, possible Ebola cases, what the virus is, how it spreads, and so forth. Once the first U.S. case bell was rung, the media jumped on the case, making Ebola possibly one of the most news media-covered stories today.
This just shows how one incident, like the Dallas case, can change how the news media covers a certain topic to accommodate and generate public interest. It also shows the closer a story hits home, the more interest the story will have.