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"'Not In Canada': The Non-Ebola Panic and Media Misrepresentation of the Black Community"

Charles T. Adeyanju, Temitope Oriola


This paper investigates the case of a non-Ebola panic in Hamilton, Ontario in 2001. Using in-depth interviews of journalists, hospital staff, members of the Congolese-Black community and content analysis of coverage by four Canadian newspapers, this study shows that the media problematized the case by cross-articulating a health scare of Ebola with immigration, crime and race. Utilizing extant late modernity literature and its attendant anxiety over risks, the study shows how a scapegoat was created, feasted upon by the media and aroused the collective conscience of mainstream Canadian society. Consequently, the voice of the community was misrepresented and underrepresented in the media. This study explicates the human material effects of media coverage on members of the community. Through interviews with key dramatis personae in the event, this study qualitatively teases out how weak ties to major institutions of society can lead to a drowning out of minority standpoints regardless of its authenticity and factuality.

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