Which actor or institution defines risk representation on the media? Analysing alarm cases on the media could give an answer to this question. These events have generally political and economic consequences but moreover can start public debates who involve heterogeneous actors. For this reason alarm cases give to researchers the possibility to investigate actors role in a precarious situation: when there is not a sudden and common definition of the alarm, analysing the media could allow science communication researcher to understand experts’ role in the public media sphere. In particular it is really interesting to consider actors’ starting positions and their eventual changes of trajectory when alarms drive them in a public debate. By adopting Science in the Media Monitor (SMM) tool apparatus, an Observa-Science in Society research tool, in this paper at least two cases on Italian daily press will be analysed (2009 Pandemic and 2011 Germany Escherichia coli outbreak). Furthermore, adopting SMM instruments, I will be able to pick out (a) news media coverage trends in time, (b) communication model and (c) actors interactions. Talking about interactions, experts are even more facing a complex reality where other kinds of actors want to state their specific concerns and motion. This concrete situation doesn’t allow them to avoid public contention. Since the BSE case in 1996, we have learned that alarms, and specially health crisis, implicate actors with economic interest or particular categories that fear to be hit by (or to be excluded from) the decision process by experts measures to manage the risk. By this way is not unusual that these lay categories of actors try to gain access to the media to express and to defend their specific concerns. In order to find evidences to understand these new dynamics of public media sphere, the three main aspects listed above will be compared in the selected cases.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Actors in public representation of risk

Paolo Giardullo   Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”

Which actor or institution defines risk representation on the media? Analysing alarm cases on the media could give an answer to this question. These events have generally political and economic consequences but moreover can start public debates who involve heterogeneous actors. For this reason alarm cases give to researchers the possibility to investigate actors role in a precarious situation: when there is not a sudden and common definition of the alarm, analysing the media could allow science communication researcher to understand experts’ role in the public media sphere. In particular it is really interesting to consider actors’ starting positions and their eventual changes of trajectory when alarms drive them in a public debate. By adopting Science in the Media Monitor (SMM) tool apparatus, an Observa-Science in Society research tool, in this paper at least two cases on Italian daily press will be analysed (2009 Pandemic and 2011 Germany Escherichia coli outbreak). Furthermore, adopting SMM instruments, I will be able to pick out (a) news media coverage trends in time, (b) communication model and (c) actors interactions. Talking about interactions, experts are even more facing a complex reality where other kinds of actors want to state their specific concerns and motion. This concrete situation doesn’t allow them to avoid public contention. Since the BSE case in 1996, we have learned that alarms, and specially health crisis, implicate actors with economic interest or particular categories that fear to be hit by (or to be excluded from) the decision process by experts measures to manage the risk. By this way is not unusual that these lay categories of actors try to gain access to the media to express and to defend their specific concerns. In order to find evidences to understand these new dynamics of public media sphere, the three main aspects listed above will be compared in the selected cases.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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