Editorial: how much do we know about Ebola?

In the world of media, reporters easily blow news events out of proportion. Simultaneously, it seems that undercoverage is a pitfall of many important events. With this in mind, it is important to consume information with a grain of salt.

The recent outbreak of Ebola is currently considered the worst in history, according to the Washington Post. Statistically speaking, the numbers add up. The World Health Organization commits to saying that this virus kills up to 90% of people it infects. However, CNN has gone on record several times stating that the virus kills 90% of people it infects. Omitting the words “up to” is a drastic difference in meaning. While Ebola must be dealt with and contained in the near future, it is important to look at the facts with a level head rather than in an abrupt panic.

Changing perspective, the first case of Ebola broke out in March 2014 in Africa when most people had not heard of this disease. Frankly, the disease was not covered extensively until one American citizen had been affected by it in the United States. The lack of coverage, before it had a direct impact on the United States shows a distinct omission of news that is happening across the world. However, Ebola is one piece of news that eventually had to come to the public’s attention.

About 5,500 children die in just 20 countries in Africa every day from several other epidemics spread across the continent, according to UNICEF. Events such as these never reach the American public’s ears to take action.

“Vice,” a program that airs on HBO, aims to reveal the very news about which the media keeps the audience in the dark. While the average person has heard about Ebola and its dangers at this point, he or she probably does not have any idea about a group of women in India who have taken a stand against rape, or the fact that many are dying every day from drone strikes in Pakistan.

Ironically, Kony 2012, a video about a war criminal in Africa, reached 100 million views in six days. Approximately 3.7 million people pledged to arrest Joseph Kony, according to the official website Invisiblechildren.com. This astounding problem gathered a great amount of attention, and celebrities immediately committed to the hashtag STOPKONY. This was all to no avail. The primary problem with this issue is that Joseph Kony was no longer declared a threat by the government, according to Huffington Post.

We do not have anything against those dying of Ebola, nor do we underestimate the gravity of the situation. However, as a staff, we find that the news today disregards much of the world’s happenings in favor of a few major events, centered strictly around our country itself. We hope that readers take the time to broaden their horizons of the world around them and not just what they see in the media.