By: Justin Ellis | Nieman Lab
A contagious disease outbreak seems like a good time for some explanatory journalism.
News outlets are scrambling to cover the latest developments in the Ebola outbreak with reporting that can provide background on the spread — and any potential risks — of the disease. It’s a balancing act, made more difficult by the worry and fear that surrounds the potentially deadly virus. When Fox News’ Shepard Smith is telling viewers “do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and the television or read the fear-provoking words online,” it’s possible there’s a misinformation problem.