vrijdag 3 oktober 2008

Onderzoek naar berichtgeving over UMTS en fijn stof

Towards a Model for Evaluation of Reporting on Risk. The case of UMTS and Fine Particles.

The media's coverage of risk issues is often criticized for neglecting the scientific perspective on risk. This criticism, however, ignores the social context in which journalists operate: they have to report on people's worries about health-threatening issues and they have to cover actions taken by the government to address these worries. The media have to report on such issues, irrespective of the fact that in terms of scientific risk assessment the risk may be negligible. In this article, a new evaluation model for media coverage of risk is developed on the basis of a content analysis of two risk issues — universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) base stations and fine particle pollution (FPP) — and extensive consultation with prominent journalists, scientists and stakeholders in the Netherlands. The model defines criteria regarding sources, frames, amplification, risk perception, scientific data and the language used in the coverage. This approach offers a concrete starting point for the reporters who cover these issues in the daily news pages.

Key Words: frames • journalism • media • risk • sources

European Journal of Communication, Vol. 23, No. 3, 319-341 (2008)
DOI: 10.1177/0267323108092538

Co-authors: O. Scholten en N. Ruigrok.