I checked the six additional Ebola sources decided upon by my group on Friday afternoon. The list includes two Twitter feeds, one Reddit subreddit, one Wikipedia page, one Nigerian website devoted mostly to broadcast news and one “major” news source — BBC News. It’s a more eclectic list than the one with which I worked last week, especially considering the presence of news sources from Nigeria, whose backyard is the one being impacted by the Ebola outbreak. Last week, I was missing that regional flavor.
The two Twitter feeds belonged to Matt Dennebaum, a news curator, and Dan Nwomeh, special assistant on media and communication for the Minister of Health in Nigeria. Dennebaum’s feed is updated fairly frequently with news stories and photos from other sources (although he does take the occasional hiatus, as he did from Sept. 6 to Sept. 12). That’s the drawback of being a one-man or one-woman show — long stretches during which no new content is being published or shared. Nwomeh tweets a lot, presumably as part of his job. He occasionally shares or retweets content from other publications, but unlike Dennebaum, most of Nwomeh’s tweeting is original updates on the outbreak. That’s probably because Nwomeh is a government employee, and sharing a news item essentially means endorsing the publication that generated the item.
The Ebola subreddit on Reddit is updated every few hours, generally, depending on whether Reddit users are posting content. The top item on Friday was an article from The Hill that discussed how the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is projecting the Ebola outbreak to trend through the rest of 2014. The Ebola outbreak’s Wikipedia page is, in my view, surprisingly profuse. It explains in detail the spread of the virus, its effects and the responses from various nations. Interestingly, the page was last updated on Sept. 20; I write this on Sept. 19 (I take it the page was revised from a location in the Far East, at the very least Europe). The Nigerian website, channelstv.com, was discussing on its live news stream the decision to reopen schools in the midst of the Ebola outbreak. The site also has a homepage with print articles; the lead story was on a hospital in the country that recently reopened. Meanwhile, BBC News had resigned Ebola — a piece on the lockdown in Sierra Leone — to near the bottom of its website.