a list of who to follow on Ebola that’s more diverse than the one by Vox
It was flattering to be included on Vox.com‘s list, “24 Twitter accounts you should follow to understand the Ebola outbreak.” But I had a few problems with the list. Most of us included are white (I’m only half, but you get my drift). Limited diversity is not a new problem at Vox. Unlike earlier situations, however, in the space of informing the public about Ebola via social media, there are many diverse voices. Vox readers are missing out on a lot if they limit their scope to what these 24 mostly-White people have to say about Ebola.
One particularly remarkable omission from the Vox list is any African journalist. All the journalists/freelancers/correspondents are white (except Sanjay Gupta). I was genuinely surprised by this since one of the best things I’ve read about the current Ebola outbreak was penned by Umaru Fofana, a journalist in Sierra Leone who has been very active in posting Ebola updates to Twitter.
Below is my (alphabetically ordered) list of people who you could follow on Twitter that weren’t mentioned in the Vox list but should have been. I’ve also included one of the Tweep’s recent tweets about #Ebola. (Please, if you have recommendations, leave links or Twitter handles in the comments section and I’ll add to the list.)
Adia Benton, Medical Anthropologist at Brown University
Abena Dove, Historian of Medicine and Science at UC Berkeley
Bate Felix, Dakar-based West & Central Africa Correspondent for Reuters News
Umaru Fofana, Journalist writing for Reuters and BBC in Sierra Leone
Stephane Helleringer, Demographer at Columbia School of Public Health
Viviane Mbombo in Conakry, Guinea
Cédric Moro, Independent Risk Consultant
Susan Shepler, Professor at American University School of International Service (and recently a Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria)
Abdul Tejan-Cole, Ex ACC Commissioner of Sierra Leone
Jeremy Youde, Professor and author of Global Health Governance
Part of the problem with Vox’s list is that it is limited to Twitter.
I suspect like in many African countries, Facebook is more popular than Twitter in Ebola-affected countries and so including Facebook pages expands the range of topics and issues than we would see on Twitter alone. For example, the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation does not have a Twitter feed, but they have been very consistent in disseminating information on their Facebook page.
Here are a few pages you could like/follow on Facebook, with a few of their recent Ebola posts (again, if you have suggestions for other resources on Facebook, please share in the comments):
FrontPage Africa, a Liberian newspaper
Journalist Nathan Charles, posting from Liberia