Explanation of Risk and Uncertainty in News Coverage of an Anthrax Attack

Kristen Alley Swain
2012 Journal of Risk Analysis and Crisis Response (JRACR)  
A content analysis of U.S. news coverage of the 2001 anthrax attacks examined explanations of risk and uncertainty. The sample consisted of 833 stories drawn from 272 newspapers, Associated Press, National Public Radio, and four television networks (CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC). Dominant uncertainty factors included outrage rhetoric, speculation, attribution of unnamed sources, and coverage of confusing incidents. Overall coverage also promoted comparability, through definitions and explanations about
more » ... xplanations about risks and transmission vectors. Risk comparisons, specific advice, and process explanations were sparse.
doi:10.2991/jracr.2012.2.2.1 fatcat:riqjc62u2jghnasanxoobbd4hy