Media feed on human tragedyBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7091.1423 (Published 10 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1423
- Stephanie Swafford, Clegg Scholar
Epidemics change societies. Just look at how Britain reacted to the scares about “mad cow disease” and E coli. Yet not all factions of society see these human tragedies in such grim light. In fact, for the media, epidemics can act like a spotlight, giving them the means to shine. This point was humorously brought home during the re-enactment of an epidemic at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last month.
The presentation, meant to be light entertainment for doctors and health officials from around the world, was called Epidemic! Routine investigation or national scandal? It did not take a medical degree to figure out which was the case. The progress of an epidemic was explored through the eyes of a panel composed of a general practitioner, director of the Public Health Laboratory Service, a journalist …