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The Role of Social Amplification and News Values in the Re-presentation of Risk Research: A Case Study

Abstract

Following publication of a paper on flight crew stress and fatigue in an academic journal, a UK broadsheet newspaper published a short feature. Using Kasperson's (1992) theory of ‘risk amplification’, Peters’s (1999) research into scientists' interactions with journalists, and the work of communications theorists, this paper explores the relationship between the paper's author and the journalist. It is concluded that the journalist's re-presentation of the research involved selectivity and construction. It is suggested that the journalist held certain preconceived views about low-cost carriers (which may have reflected the editorial and general news values of his newspaper). Applying Peters's classification, the relationship between the journal paper's author and the journalist is categorised as ‘rather bad’. It is suggested that cultural differences impacted the relationship, and that Peters's concept of ‘intercultural communication training’ may help to reconcile expectations of scientists (‘experts’) and of journalists.

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Bennett, S. The Role of Social Amplification and News Values in the Re-presentation of Risk Research: A Case Study. Risk Manag 7, 9–29 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.rm.8240202

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.rm.8240202

Keywords

  • Low-cost carriers
  • pilot stress and fatigue
  • media representations
  • expert-journalist relations