A Madison College professor says media consumers need to keep the threat posed by Ebola in the U.S. in perspective. While it’s important to inform the public, Madison College marketing professor Steve Noll says 24-7 coverage of Ebola has little to do with the extraordinarily small likelihood of individuals in the U.S. actually getting the disease.
“It’s kind of an exotic disease, it’s been heard about for decades but it’s always been very far away. But then when you cross that with the horrific, horror movie type symptoms that the disease gives, I think it’s just a perfect recipe for media sensation and over-hyping of the outbreak,” Noll said.
Noll noted that while Ebola has garnered enormous media attention, preventable public health threats which kill far more people in the U.S. rarely get that level of media coverage. “All these news outlets are competing to get as many viewers involved in their stories on a regular basis, because they know that the higher they can get their ratings, the more money they can generate.”