The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) saga has made painfully evident the limitations of risk communication as a one-way avenue, where information to the public about the risks they face comes after critical policy decisions have already been made. In fact, communication has even been identified as one of the key elements of what went wrong and generated the loss of trust in government discourse and in beef in Europe. This book deals with risk communication as an evolving and interactive process between decision-makers and their publics and underlines the critical importance of creating mechanisms for interaction between policy-makers and stakeholders at all stages of policy-making, in order for risk communication to be effective. The book – the result of a research project carried out in four countries (Italy, Finland, Germany, Great Britain) by an international team of researchers in 2000-2002, supported by the European Commission DG Research and led by the World Health Organization – reports on research into the strategies used by different actors to communicate about BSE and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in four European countries between 1985 and 2000. These actors include the mass media, health information systems, and political actors. The research also assessed the way people construct their perceptions about risk, who they listen to and how they make decisions on risk avoidance. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods used to describe what was said as well as was the perspectives and framework assumptions espoused by those different actors. This chapter addresses an important question raised by BSE/CJD: to what extent can the mass media be used as an index of public perception by policy-makers? The chapter presents results of empirical analysis of mass media coverage of the BSE/CJD issue in the four study countries since the early days of BSE. The analysis included the assessment of content, intensity and timing of media coverage, and the trajectory of the issues and frames used by the media. On a practical level, the chapter provides a methodology for the analysis of mass media reporting on risks, and tests the feasibility of implementing it in the four countries. On a conceptual level, the chapter looks beyond the case of BSE/CJD and surveillance systems in general to explore the idea of a "parallel epidemiology". It is conceived as "parallel" because, in addition to surveillance of BSE in the animal population and CJD in humans, there appears to be value in monitoring social representations of the problem. This is not an indicator of public perception but a measure of the waves of change in discourse by the media that have an impact on the public sphere and that both affect and draw from public perceptions. The chapter discusses the dual role of the media as a mirror of public opinion and as a contributor to the formation of public perceptions (including setting the public agenda).

The Bse and Cjd Crisis in the Press

GASPERONI, Giancarlo;
2006

Abstract

The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) saga has made painfully evident the limitations of risk communication as a one-way avenue, where information to the public about the risks they face comes after critical policy decisions have already been made. In fact, communication has even been identified as one of the key elements of what went wrong and generated the loss of trust in government discourse and in beef in Europe. This book deals with risk communication as an evolving and interactive process between decision-makers and their publics and underlines the critical importance of creating mechanisms for interaction between policy-makers and stakeholders at all stages of policy-making, in order for risk communication to be effective. The book – the result of a research project carried out in four countries (Italy, Finland, Germany, Great Britain) by an international team of researchers in 2000-2002, supported by the European Commission DG Research and led by the World Health Organization – reports on research into the strategies used by different actors to communicate about BSE and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in four European countries between 1985 and 2000. These actors include the mass media, health information systems, and political actors. The research also assessed the way people construct their perceptions about risk, who they listen to and how they make decisions on risk avoidance. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods used to describe what was said as well as was the perspectives and framework assumptions espoused by those different actors. This chapter addresses an important question raised by BSE/CJD: to what extent can the mass media be used as an index of public perception by policy-makers? The chapter presents results of empirical analysis of mass media coverage of the BSE/CJD issue in the four study countries since the early days of BSE. The analysis included the assessment of content, intensity and timing of media coverage, and the trajectory of the issues and frames used by the media. On a practical level, the chapter provides a methodology for the analysis of mass media reporting on risks, and tests the feasibility of implementing it in the four countries. On a conceptual level, the chapter looks beyond the case of BSE/CJD and surveillance systems in general to explore the idea of a "parallel epidemiology". It is conceived as "parallel" because, in addition to surveillance of BSE in the animal population and CJD in humans, there appears to be value in monitoring social representations of the problem. This is not an indicator of public perception but a measure of the waves of change in discourse by the media that have an impact on the public sphere and that both affect and draw from public perceptions. The chapter discusses the dual role of the media as a mirror of public opinion and as a contributor to the formation of public perceptions (including setting the public agenda).
Health, Hazards, and Public Debate: Lessons for Risk Communication from the BSE/CJD Saga
126
164
Bauer M.; Gasperoni G.; Howard S.; Hagenhoff V.; Rusanen M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/15871
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