After the Ebola Frenzy: Media Lessons for Zika

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In the fall of 2014—as Americans first experienced Ebola at home and the outbreak ravaged West Africa—a media storm fed hysteria and fear throughout the United States. Now, as the Zika virus spreads and the possibility of an epidemic of infants born with birth defects in the U.S. rises, will the U.S. media operate with greater calm and deliberation to better inform an anxious American public without inciting panic?

To answer this question, join us on Thursday, June 23 from 3:00-5:00pm. The session will open with a viewing of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center’s groundbreaking documentary, “Ebola in America: An Epidemic of Fear,” that intimately captures how Americans experienced the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and examines the role of media in stoking the public panic that was to follow. Immediately after, we will transition into a roundtable of accomplished print, television, and radio journalists to discuss the role and responsibilities of the media during infectious disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies.

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