I am a Sierra Leonean in the U.S trying to maintain her sanity in the midst of misdirected media frenzy about the Ebola outbreak in my country,Guinea and Liberia.When the outbreak started,I was in my own bubble of confusion and fear, trying to understand the situation happening back home,searching for news sites that would accurately report what was going on a crises that had been identified by WHO as a Global Health Emergency.Sadly, the stories were either non-existent or under reported-till the first case of Ebola was identified in Texas.I don’t need to recount the national and media pandemonium that followed afterwards.Below is an example:
In the midst of mainstream media frenzy,I searched for other news sources that would present the facts as they were:not stripping the dignity of the countries suffering from it,but most importantly,that would give an informed perspective of the crisis,in such a way that would stimulate action.And that’s how I came across these websites:
The first website-Ebola Deeply,was initiated by a team of journalists and technology experts,who saw the gap between popular media and what was truly going on on the ground. In the spirit of revolutionary journalism-they decided to create a platform wherein the actual facts were not only reported,but there was a plan to globally engage everyone ,in a discussion that was initially termed as just a regional crises.
Doctors Without Borders have led the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.Guinea and Liberia since March of this year,and currently has a staff of close to 3,500 health workers in the three affected countries.Their website contains daily updates about the situation,as well as carefully analyzed data on the crises.
If you are a Sierra Leonean , Guinean,or Liberian in the diaspora,thirsty for news sources that would give you facts,data and direct stories from the people on the ground,I advise that you please be adequately informed about the situation,and get your news from sources that are really dedicated to doing their research.Do your research as well-citizen journalism has never been this important!