Veteran South Florida reporter Al Sunshine has written a column for the RTDNA urging local stations to educate viewers about the threat of Ebola, rather than simply giving in to the urge to churn out “sensational promos aimed at scaring viewers to watch their latest newscast.”
You can easily imagine those promos, if you haven’t already seen them on your own air. Sunshine, longtime investigative reporter at CBS owned WFOR, remembers the 2001 anthrax attacks that swept South Florida–and impacted newsrooms. The same, he suggests, is true for Ebola:
The good news is, if you’re in a market so far untouched by Ebola, you have time to plan for coverage and get as much information as your can from your local health departments. Don’t forget, how you cover this potential outbreak will not only affect the reputation of your newscasts, it could put your crews at risk and ultimately even spread the problem.