Viral News: the Spread of the Spanish Flu and the Media that Covered It
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The 1918 influenza pandemic was one of the most severe outbreaks in history; it affected an estimated 500 million people across the globe. In many places, the emergence of the flu was accompanied by cover-up stories until its rapid spread could no longer be denied. How did U.S. and international media coverage, or lack thereof, of what was often called the Spanish Flu, influence the reactions of the public? How does the spread of the news reflect the tendency of people and governments to associate a virus to foreign countries? We will explore these questions using primary sources such as newspaper ads and articles from the TWU archives as well as some secondary sources on the subject.