Ebola disappears from media spotlight after midterms

Cable news coverage of Ebola has virtually disappeared in the two weeks since the midterm elections, according to an analysis by a media watchdog group.

Just 49 broadcasts have mentioned Ebola in the last two weeks, compared to 1,000 mentions in the four weeks leading up to Election Day, according to a review of transcripts by Media Matters for America.

The extensive coverage of Ebola in the media has received criticism from U.S. health officials, who have tried to calm widespread fears about the disease.


CNN dominated the Ebola coverage, running 335 segments, followed by Fox News, which ran 281 segments.

Since Nov. 4, the networks have each aired 10 segments on Ebola.

The analysis included 19 nightly news programs on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC.

The absence of Ebola in the media comes as Congress revs up its focus on the outbreak. 

Congress has amplified its approach to Ebola since returning from recess last week, holding four hearings in two days. The hearings, which included officials from across the government, have been largely absent from the news.

The media’s focus on Ebola ahead of the midterms coincides with heavy attention from campaigns run by both parties.

Political ads mentioning Ebola aired an average of six times per hour in the week before the election in swing states, according to data from a media tracking firm.

Ebola was mentioned in 734 political ads between Oct. 21 and Oct. 25 alone.