Media Try to Avoid Anthrax Alarmism

By Price, Joyce Howard | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 14, 2001 | Go to article overview

Media Try to Avoid Anthrax Alarmism


Price, Joyce Howard, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Joyce Howard Price

Television networks, scrambling to report U.S. cases of anthrax, say they are trying to strike a proper balance between reporting the news and not alarming the public.

"The upgraded level of hysteria, now that [anthrax] has hit a large media outlet [NBC television in New York], in addition to the offices of a company [in Florida] that publishes supermarket tabloids, has people in an uproar," said Carl Gottlieb, deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

"The problem for the media now is walking a fine enough line without panicking the public. In order to do that, it's incumbent on news organizations to use proper, intelligent and authoritative sourcing and to deliver the news in a measured way," he said.

But Mr. Gottlieb and other media analysts say that the cable news networks, which reported the newly discovered New York anthrax case all day Friday, as well as the other major broadcast networks, did not always meet those criteria in their coverage of this scare.

The analysts say they believe the networks could have done a better job in decreasing public fears and anxiety about these anthrax incidents by providing better and earlier information on how the bacillus is spread, by making it clearer that the type of anthrax involved in the New York case is different from that in the Florida cases and is less severe, and by stressing that law enforcement and medical authorities have no evidence the New York and Florida cases are connected.

"They ran with the story. When they had the opportunity to take a breath, they filled in the gaps," said Matthew Felling, media director for the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

"It's incumbent on the viewer to stay tuned to get the vital information, but the viewer is not always in a position to do this," he said.

Marty Ryan, executive producer for political coverage at the Fox News Channel, says, "We've been really trying to explain" how the NBC employee was infected with anthrax that was contained in a powder in an envelope. He said Fox reporters repeatedly pointed out that microscopic anthrax spores can enter the body through a cut in the skin, but that they cannot be spread directly from person to person. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Media Try to Avoid Anthrax Alarmism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.