measles | KBIA

measles

via Wikimedia user Remi Mathis

Television journalists found themselves speechless, trying to describe the pictures on their screens, showing the centuries old cathedral consumed by flames. Two days later, we’ll examine the coverage here and abroad.

A highly contagious disease was sweeping across the United States. Thousands of children were sick and some were dying. In the midst of this outbreak, health officials did something that experts say had never been done before and hasn't been done since: They forced parents to vaccinate their children.

It sounds like something that would have happened 100 years ago. But this was 1991 — and the disease was measles.

More than 100 people have contracted measles, most exposed after visits to Disneyland. The resurgence of the illness has given new life to the debate over whether parents should vaccinate their children. This week, that debate became political. While most government leaders are urging people to inoculate their children, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), himself a medical doctor, told CNBC he's known of cases in which vaccines have caused "profound medical disorders." Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News.”