Why AP isn't moving stories for every suspected Ebola case
On Friday, the Associated Press posted an advisory to editors about suspected cases of Ebola, which they're hearing of more and more.
"The AP has exercised caution in reporting these cases and will continue to do so," the advisory reads.
Here's the rest:
Most of these suspected cases turn out to be negative. Our bureaus monitor them, but we have not been moving stories or imagery simply because a doctor suspects Ebola and routine precautions are taken while the patient is tested. To report such a case, we look for a solid source saying Ebola is suspected and some sense the case has caused serious disruption or reaction. Are buildings being closed and substantial numbers of people being evacuated or isolated? Is a plane being diverted? Is the suspected case closely related to another, confirmed Ebola case?
When we do report a suspected case, we will seek to keep our stories brief and in perspective.
The AP issued similar guidance on October 3. My colleague Sam Kirkland wrote about it then.
Often the fact of an unconfirmed case isn’t worth a story at all. On several occasions already, in the U.S. and abroad, we have decided not to report suspected cases. We’ve just stayed in touch with authorities to monitor the situation.
Ebola is capitalized, just a reminder. You probably know how to pronounce it by now.