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Novel H1N1 (otherwise known as swine flu) caused quite the stir and a fair bit of fear. I’d hardly call it a panic, though there are plenty of others who are referring to what happened as one. More like apprehension and trepidation.

While twitter and blogs are getting the primary blame for spreading ‘panic’, the reach of it and the demographics that appear to have been the most affected seem to lay the blame on television, and to a lesser degree newspapers and related services.

Whatever social media might or might not have had to say about novel H1N1, television was saying it louder, more sensationally, more frequently and in prime-time. By contrast, the CDC was feeding far more subdued and less sensational reports into twitter, which were being spread around in turn.

Fear. It’s about attention.



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