Media in modern society uses their influence and power to frame social phenomenon in society from political elections, health crisis, war to terrorism etc. The aim of this study is on a global level to observe how selected newspapers have portrayed Ebola virus (EVD). The conceptual framework presented will be a mixture of concepts based in Peace and Development studies and Media studies with an emphasis on the first as this thesis is iwhitn Peace and Development Studies.
This study will be a qualitative study, where selected articles are observed and analyzed with the help of a content analysis (textual analysis). The selected newspapers are The Salone Monitor (Sierra Leone), The Daily News (US), Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) and The Guineeconakry (Guinea). The selection of each newspaper is influenced by the research questions in terms of using two African newspapers located geographically in countries effected by Ebola virus (EVD) and two Western newspapers with geographical distance, to observe similarities and differences in how Ebola virus (EVD) has been portrayed in correlation to geographical placement.
The conclusion drawn from this research indicates similarities and differences in how Ebola virus (EVD) has been portrayed in respect to the conceptual framework used which relates to the risk and crisis communication, power, securitization and “Them and us” concepts. Indicating similarities concerning limitations in reporting about care communication in terms of raising awareness by communicating knowledge about transmission and protection strategies for respective audience.
In addition, Ebola virus (EVD) is greatly securitized through the lenses of each newspaper using their (newspapers) influence (form of power) to create fear between readers at the same time showing differences in the process of how Ebola virus (EVD) becomes a global threat. Additionally, also reporting risk and crisis communications greatly by communicating information about dangers EVD possesses. Processes of “them and us” are established characterizing Ebola virus (EVD) as a threat for Africa until confirmed cases occur outside Africa. Therefore changing how Ebola virus (EVD) becomes shaped and identified as a global security threat after outbreaks in US and Spain.
Keywords: Securitization, “Them and us”, power, risk and crisis communication, Ebola virus (EVD), newspaper, global health news, articles
2015. , 47 p.