Login | Register

In the Backstage of the 2014 Ebola Crisis News Coverage: A Focus on the Lived Experience of Involved African Journalists

Title:

In the Backstage of the 2014 Ebola Crisis News Coverage: A Focus on the Lived Experience of Involved African Journalists

Edimo, Anne (2016) In the Backstage of the 2014 Ebola Crisis News Coverage: A Focus on the Lived Experience of Involved African Journalists. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[img]
Preview
Text (application/pdf)
Edimo_MA_F2016.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.
1MB

Abstract

This thesis examines the lived experiences of African journalists involved in the recent Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. It contends that African journalists did not cover the crisis efficiently because of several barriers. The EVD epidemic is believed to have begun in December 2013 and has affected West African countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, causing an estimated 11,279 deaths since March 2015. The outbreak, however, was not just a health crisis. It was a crisis of information that highlighted the ineffectiveness of top down messaging to reach communities directly affected by the outbreak. The academic literature related to the journalistic coverage of epidemics largely focuses on the overall representation of outbreaks, media coverage of failures and successes, and journalists’ perceptions of their roles (Logan, 2004; Vasterman & Ruigrok, 2013; Oh, et al., 2012; Shih, et al., 2008; Lowicki-Zucca, et al., 2005; Odlum & Summoo, 2015; Rübsamen, et al., 2015; Carter, 2014). It pays little attention to the lived experiences and narratives of journalists despite their key role in disseminating accurate information to the public; mediating between the public, decision makers and health experts; acting as a watchdog for institutions involved in public health response; and creating boundaries of public discourse about health (Lubens, 2015, p. 59; Briggs & Hallin, 2010, p. 157). Using in-depth semi-structured interviews (as per Kvale, 1996) with 20 African journalists, this thesis examined key professional, technological and social elements that impacted journalism on EVD. The interviews were analyzed thematically using a modified grounded theory approach to facilitate the assessment of similarities and/or differences between interviews and literature themes. The African journalists who covered the 2014 Ebola outbreak faced many technological, economic, social, cultural, financial and emotional challenges, which impacted the quality of their coverage. These results show the need for more training and capacity building programs to foster health reporting and add to a limited body of literature on the lived experiences of journalists covering epidemics.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Journalism
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Edimo, Anne
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Journalism Studies
Date:17 May 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Secko, David
ID Code:981299
Deposited By: ANNE NADIA EDIMO
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 19:52
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top