The impact of the Ebola Virus and rare diseases in the media and the perception of risk in Spain | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-1898
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1901



This study analysed the role played by the media in social perceptions about the risk of infection from rare diseases and Ebola. For this purpose, a content analysis was carried out on 479 news items on Ebola in 2014 and on 28 news items on rare diseases in 2013, all coming from the most widely circulated newspapers in Spain: El País and El Mundo. The findings enabled us to state that the media play an important role in the perception of social risk from both these issues (Ebola–Rare Diseases): on the one hand, because of intrinsic factors of the media themselves and journalistic routines and, on the other hand, because of the role played by politicians as an external factor. In addition, news about the spreading and the fatal consequences of Ebola lead to it being considered as a ‘terrible risk’ disease, whereas news about other rare diseases and the damage they can cause define them as of ‘unknown risk’.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Ebola; media impact; promotion health; rare diseases; risk perception; Spain
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