Administrators at the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg have decided to cancel a visit from Edward R. Murrow journalists from African countries, citing concerns over the ongoing Ebola outbreak, according to a letter from regional academic affairs vice-chancellor Han Reichgelt.
The 5-day visit, which was scheduled to begin Oct. 31, was part of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, which brings “emerging leaders” in journalism from around the world to the U.S.
According to the letter, “faculty, students and staff” have expressed fear of the Ebola epidemic and “expressed reservations about their involvement in the program.”
In an email addressed to faculty, USF St. Petersburg journalism department chair Deni Elliott wrote “it would be helpful to me to get any input that you get from your students regarding this decision” and said “It may be that some folks think that the decision to cancel the program was over-reaction.”
The University of Georgia recently canceled on a Liberian journalist who was scheduled to give a talk on her experiences covering the Ebola epidemic. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michel du Cille was recently turned away from a speaking engagement at Syracuse University because of Ebola fears.
Ebola is “spread only through direct contact with virus-laden bodily fluids, and is not as transmissible as such airborne viruses as influenza and measles,” according to The Washington Post. Read more