How newspapers represent environmental risk: the case of carcinogenic hazards in South Korea

Title
How newspapers represent environmental risk: the case of carcinogenic hazards in South Korea
Author
Thomas Britten Hove
Keywords
news framing; uncertainty; environmental risk; emotion; uncertainty presentation format; SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS; ATTENTION CYCLES; MEDIA COVERAGE; PERCEIVED RISK; NEWS COVERAGE; HEALTH RISK; COMMUNICATION; UNCERTAINTY; PERCEPTION; SCIENCE
Issue Date
2015-11
Publisher
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS
Citation
JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH, v. 18, No. 10, Page. 1320-1336
Abstract
This study pursues the following aims: to examine how news stories use frames, emotions, and uncertainty to present environmental risk information; to identify which aspects of risk issues they highlight; and to analyze how these stories' representations of risk and uncertainty might differ according to the sources they use. Content analysis of 641 news stories in South Korea over the last decade yields three findings: (1) reassurance was the most frequently used news frame, while uncertainty and emotion were used less often than expected; (2) news stories using government/industry/experts as sources vs. activists/lay people highlighted different news frames and risk information; and (3) the two most frequently used uncertainty presentation formats were single point estimate and verbal estimate. This study contributes to existing literature on the roles of media in environmental risk communication in two ways. First, it examines the specific formats journalists use to present uncertainty about risks. Second, it integrates news frames with the emotional characteristics of risk communication and with differences in risk information characteristics according to source. Implications are discussed regarding how a better understanding of news representations of risk could inform and enhance cooperation between experts and journalists, and lead to more effective environmental risk communication. Finally, this content analysis provides a stepping stone for future research that could further investigate and test how publics respond to risk messages that have varying permutations of emotional content and risk presentation formats.
URI
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13669877.2014.923025http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11754/41087
ISSN
1366-9877; 1466-4461
DOI
10.1080/13669877.2014.923025
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION[E](언론정보대학) > ADVERTISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS(광고홍보학과) > Articles
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