October 5th, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Media treatment of Ebola: going too far?

PBS "NewsHour" science correspondent Miles O'Brien, a former reporter and anchor at CNN, takes a look at some of the best and worst TV coverage of the Ebola outbreak.

"I wish everybody could take a deep breath and take a break from trying to pull viewers in by scaring them," O'Brien said.

He also said this:

"My biggest wish for the audience is that the mainstream media, the big outlets - CNN included - realize that science coverage is important and they should have people on staff who have a certain amount of expertise who study this beat. You would never run CNN without a political reporter, would you? Why is it in this world, where climate change is a big issue, Ebola is a big issue, missing airliners, all kinds of science and technological implications, why is it that big entities don't maintain science specialized units anymore? They're gone.

And that's a shame because we live in a world with a lot of things that sound very scary and it requires a little bit of digging to get to the bottom of things and put things in perspective."

Filed under: Reliable Sources
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  12. David M

    Miles O’Brien needs to do HIS homework about common held beliefs regarding witchcraft, curses, and medicine of those people living in certain regions of Africa where Ebola outbreak is are occurring before pulling out the race card on other news correspondents.

    October 8, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  13. Missy smith

    mention lately of a rapid Ebola test that has not been approved. Can we promote this? The down side would be a false positive that could be monitored.3-4 day turnaround of results are unreasonable.

    October 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  14. Erin

    Good reporting on the media. However, I have yet to see any story on the admitting paperwork that the Ebola victim filled out when he 1st went to the hospital. My guess is since he came from Liberia, he had no INSURANCE. Hence the SOP at the hospital was to ignore everything and simply give him a quasi placebo and send him home. And that is the true reason no one at the hospital took notice of his travel history. He now looks like he will die because the hospital wasn't going to get PAID for his visit the 1st time!

    October 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Reply
    • troyhofeling

      Erin, it seems your speculation assigns blame to the hospital. Isn't health insurance the responsibility of the individual? Isn't it the responsibility of the sick person to tell medical providers he has just returned from spending time with an Ebola victim in West Africa? We will not be able to solve serious problems if we willfully choose to hold the wrong people accountable and then speculating motive based on some perceived prejudice..

      October 6, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Reply
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