Think back on the last couple of weeks (or so), when the Ebola crisis really started to pervade all of our media sources. There has been sensationalism, misinformation and more sensationalism that has led to sheer ignorance, in some cases, plus unnecessary (if not illogical) panic. This is not to take away from the severity of the disease whatsoever, as it should be treated with delicacy; somehow, though, the virus and its victims have been so oversimplified because news organizations have not been careful in their approach.
For these reasons and more, Lara Setrakian of the news microsite network News Deeply has introduced Ebola Deeply, which Gigaom’s Mathew Ingram reports will cover both immediate impacts of the disease and long-term effects on society. Setrakian, whose Syria Deeply site has been quite effective in disseminating valuable information and reporting regarding the complicated situation in the Middle East, has a team of African freelancers contributing content and will aggregate wire stories on Ebola, too.
Wrote Ebola Deeply’s Isha Sesay: ‘Our mission is simple: to humanize this public health emergency and to drive the dialogue in search of new ideas and solutions to the crisis.’
With Pardis Sabeti, Setrakian also wrote on World Economic Forum about the results that cycles of bad information and a public aversion to scientific truths regarding Ebola can have on the public at large. There’s still much we don’t know about Ebola, those behind Ebola Deeply are saying, and the way we think about the disease dictates how we live our lives. Thus, it’s of vital importance.
Sure, it’s not clear how long the shelf life of a micro-publishing project like Ebola Deeply is, but that doesn’t minimize its potential. It’s certainly worth checking out, both for your own good, for those around you, and ultimately those in the news industry. Check it out here.