Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Swine flu overblown?

May 12, 2009
Swine flu dominated the news a couple of weeks ago as the virus spread out of Mexico and ultimately to more than 30 countries. Indiana now has 22 cases.

However, once it became apparent the flu wouldnâ??t turn into a full-blown pandemic and kill thousands, the story began to recede, and now the media is on to the next big thing.

Slate columnist Anne Applebaum argues that panic is a good thing. Otherwise, diseases donâ??t get enough attention and people get sick and die. Malaria continues to kill in developing nations because it isnâ??t news in the â??rich world,â?? she says.

Hindsight is easy, of course. No one was able to predict the severity of the latest virus. However, had news organizations downplayed the story and the virus gotten out of hand, the criticism would have been deafening.

How do you feel about the way the story was handled, particularly locally? Was it overblown?
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