Communication Studies


Master of Arts (MA)


Kristen Hark


Crisis Communication, Ebola, Liberia, Samaritan's Purse, W. Timothy Coombs


Communication Technology and New Media | Health Communication | International and Intercultural Communication | Mass Communication | Other Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Crisis does not discriminate. It can strike without warning, at any time or place. Managers, organizations, and leaders alike, must be ready at all times to respond to them, whether they are planned for or not. An efficient and quick response is especially necessary when health crises or natural disasters strike, because human life may be at stake. Crisis communication has become more and more important in a world that is daily filled with catastrophes. This study uses W. Timothy Coomb’s situational crisis communication theory as a lens to view the Ebola crisis. The purpose of the research is to analyze news articles released from the non-profit Samaritan’s Purse and conduct interviews to determine the communicative response to the Ebola outbreak from both the Liberian healthcare system and the international non governmental organization, Samaritan’s Purse.