Thanks to Lucie Lecomte for sending the link to this story. I almost tagged it with "Ebola follies." At best it's an over-reaction. Via FrontPageAfrica: Georgia U. Cancels FPA Newsroom Chief’s McGill Lectures Over Ebola. Excerpt:
The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia has rescinded the decision of the University’s journalism school Grady College to invite FrontPageAfrica newsroom editor Wade C. L. Williams for its McGill Lecture slated for October 22, 2014.
All was set for the trip as the college had already purchased a round trip plane ticket and made hotel reservations for the journalist’s visit when it was forced to cancel last minute to time because of fear she could get sick while visiting the US thereby exposing students to the deadly Ebola virus.
The McGill Lecture, which is free and open to the public is sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and will be held October 22 at 4 p.m. in Room 250 of the Miller Learning Center but with a new speaker Antonio Mora, a prominent Hispanic journalist who is a two-time winner of the Peabody Award.
“I received a call from Georgia just days before my trip. A woman with a pleasant voice delicately told me that parents were panicking and the general public was against my coming to the university,” stated Williams in a blog post published days after the university reached the decision.
Miss Williams said her feeling about the University’s decision to cancel her invitation to speak on Ebola at the University is mixed with disappointment and empathy.
"A lot of great people from Grady College helped me plan this trip and it took days of their effort but what could they do when the University’s administration was pushing them to cancel?” she asked.
Continued Miss Williams: “Despite my disappointment, I’m not angry with the University of Georgia. They felt they could not wear the barrage of criticism that would be directed at them if they allowed a Liberian journalist who covers Ebola on their campus and on U.S. soil.”
She partly blamed the level of misinformation in the US press that led to the University administration being paranoid and canceling what could have been a very educative lecture.
“But the hysteria in the U.S. media about the virus and the possibility of it spreading is counterproductive and must stop,” he said. “I worry that my fellow Liberians and Africans traveling abroad will be treated like pariahs and unfairly discriminated against as the region and word tries to battle this deadly virus.”
Washington Post photojournalist Michel du Cille, who returned from covering the Ebola epidemic in Liberia 21 days ago, was also disinvited by Syracuse University from participation in a journalism workshop this weekend.