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Hot Crises and Media Reassurance: A Comparison of Emerging Diseases and Ebola Zaire

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Abstract

Drawing on the sociology of moral panic, this paper argues that the media will shift from alarming to reassuring coverage when a 'hot crisis' portends a possible grass root panic. To determine whether this moderation effect follows from dread-inspiring events that are developing in unpredictable and potentially threatening ways, the paper compares newspaper and magazine coverage of emerging diseases with their coverage of Ebola Zaire. The results reveal that the mutation-contagion package, with its frightful account of emerging diseases, was quickly abandoned and subverted during the Ebola epidemic. In its place, the media fashion a containment package that uses a strategy of 'othering' to allay the fear. The conclusion discusses the flexibility in the tool kits used by the media to frame events.

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... In this regard, contemporary media are generative elements engaged in the exchange, reproduction and transformation of the (social) meaning of health-, medicine-and pandemic-related content [12][13][14]. This is also clearly demonstrated by a large research body in social sciences about the last (potential) pandemics [15][16][17][18]. Within this research stream, scholars showed how media narratives about pandemic and health crisis follow a recurrent and peculiar pattern, or cycle: it goes from the declaration of the alarm to a more reassuring register, independently by the tendency of the media coverage and the specific threats [15][16][17][18]. ...
... This is also clearly demonstrated by a large research body in social sciences about the last (potential) pandemics [15][16][17][18]. Within this research stream, scholars showed how media narratives about pandemic and health crisis follow a recurrent and peculiar pattern, or cycle: it goes from the declaration of the alarm to a more reassuring register, independently by the tendency of the media coverage and the specific threats [15][16][17][18]. A fast sequence of "scary news" (e.g. the growing number of contagions, death tolls and description of hard clinical consequence for people infected) is followed by a series of narratives intended to relieve the audience from anxiety, assuring that health authorities have the right tools to contrast the emergency and to contain the contagion. ...
... Relying on this body of research, the present article contributes to the ongoing debate over the decision-making and public shaping of science policy related to the Covid-19 pandemic, referring to Italian mainstream newspapers as a valuable source of empirical data. It assumes that pandemics are strictly interconnected with the broader media, cultural, and political landscapes [15][16][17][18]. Thus it offers an empirically-based study able to contribute to the current debate about the so-called "infodemic" [19][20][21] centered on how the massive production of information in digital and physical media environments can affect the public meanings, perception and governance of a disease outbreak. ...
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The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has emerged as one of the most dramatic health crises of recent decades. This paper treats mainstream news about the current pandemic as a valuable entry point for analyzing the relationship between science and politics in the public sphere, where the outbreak must be both understood and confronted through appropriate public-health policy decisions. In doing so, the paper aims to examine which actors, institutions , and experts dominate the SARS-CoV-2 media narratives, with particular attention to the roles of political, medical, and scientific actors and institutions within the pandemic crisis. The study relies on a large dataset consisting of all SARS-CoV-2 articles published by eight major Italian national newspapers between January 1, 2020 and June 15, 2020. These articles underwent a quantitative analysis based on a topic modeling technique. The topic modeling outputs were further analyzed by innovatively combining ad-hoc metrics and a classifier based on the stacking ensemble method (combining regularized logistic regression and linear stochastic gradient descent) for quantifying scientific salience. This enabled the identification of relevant topics and the analysis of the roles that different actors and institutions engaged in making sense of the pandemic. The results show how the health emergency has been addressed primarily in terms of political regulation and concerns and only marginally as a scientific matter. Hence, science has been overwhelmed by politics, which, in media narratives, exerts a moral as well as regulatory authority. Media narratives exclude neither scientific issues nor scientific experts; rather, they configure them as a subsidiary body of knowledge and expertise to be mobilized as an ancillary, impersonal institution useful for legitimizing the expansion of political jurisdiction over the governance of the emergency.
... On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel Coronavirus (COVID- 19) outbreak a global pandemic. COVID-19 was initially considered a novel coronavirus that would soon subside, similar to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS) and Zika virus disease. ...
... However, as the information about the disease is limited, incomplete, and sometimes inappropriate, the information provided are scarce, leading to unreliability. During the crisis of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the frame of 'blockade' was deployed to overcome the situation, focusing on the marginalized groups [19]. During the prevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the focus was on the failed policies, using frames like 'politics' and 'interest conflict' on top of the pattern of overcoming the crisis [1]. ...
... Sometimes, negative message frames were made with limited, incomplete, and inappropriate contents. During the AIDS crisis, a blockade frame was used [19] while using the frames of politics and interest conflict with the pattern of overcoming a crisis during the SARS outbreak [1]. Some frames emphasized specific themes or episodes [18]. ...
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Background Many questions have been raised in the ongoing battle against COVID-19: How does the public perceive the COVID-19 prevention campaign as a member of the community?; What made the perception of the experts and the public on COVID-19 change from ‘simple’ to ‘serious’ epidemic?; What is the risk perception on health?; and what are the effective messages of the government’s campaign about disease prevention? As such, this study aimed to examine the perception of the public about the government’s campaign against COVID-19. Moreover, this study investigated the more effective messaging strategies for the campaign through subjective values, thoughts, and attitudes about the information dissemination, which became the basis for the degree of people’s participation in the disease prevention campaign. Method In order to investigate the public perception on the campaign messages that are promoted by the government for prevention of COVID-19, this study implemented the Q methodology that studies subjective attributes of humans, unlike existing empirical studies. The Q methodology is an approach that endeavors to discover complex issues in human subjectivity through empirical studies. In order to determine the factors that trigger people’s voluntary and active practices and the motivation for disease prevention, the Q methodology is implemented to examine human subjectivity, thoughts, and attitudes. When it comes to the disease prevention campaigns that require strong civic awareness as members of the society, the rationale that induces people to participate in the campaign voluntarily and actively is based on their subjectivities, such as values, thoughts, and thinking. The voluntary awareness and behavior of the public campaign participants are based on their subjective perception about the given message. Results In this study, it was ascertained that there were four different types of perceptions among Koreans on the message of the COVID-19 prevention campaign. The four perceptions are as follows: Type 1 is ‘the social threat caused by people with COVID-19 related symptoms;’ Type 2 is ‘the relational measures through personal hygiene;’ Type 3 is ‘the dependence on the social system due to the disease;’ and Type 4 is ‘the avoidance of the symptoms caused by human contact.’ Conclusion As a result of this study, it was possible to draw a correlation between people’s perception of the campaign message for COVID-19 prevention and campaign messages. The response method of the campaign message must be differentiated according to the type of people’s perception of the disease prevention campaign, and the message development required by stages. The different characteristics of each type are clearly explained by keywords: symptomatic person for Type 1, personal hygiene for Type 2, social system for Type 3, and etiquette for Type 4. Type 1 perceived the messages about symptomatic persons as important to prevent the disease spread in the community whereas Type 2 tried to protect themselves from physical threats by developing proactive prevention through personal hygiene management prior to infection. Type 3 responded actively by relying on social systems, such as medical institutions or management organizations, while Type 4 positively responded to the messages related to etiquette that allowed them to avoid virus infection caused by contact with others.
... In examining the reporting of previous EID, some (such as Holland & Blood, 2013;Joffe, 2011;Ungar, 1998;Vasterman & Ruigrok, 2013) have determined three stages in framing a pandemic by news media which provides some useful guidance in examining early news reports of COVID-19 by The Australian. The first stage immediately after the initial outbreak is characterized by 'sounding the alarm' (Ungar, 2008, p. 472), framed by national plans of combat in securing border protections in anticipation of the virus arrival, and/or 'impending doom' (Holland & Blood, 2013, p. 524), much uncertainty and worst-case scenarios. ...
... During this stage, media frames include the preparedness of the medical system and staff to cope with the threat, quarantining protocols and national plans to combat the virus (Ungar, 2008, p. 484-486). The final stage of 'crisis and containment' or 'hot crisis' (Ungar, 1998) can revert to more alarming messages and to the 'distancingblame-stigma' frames used in the reporting of EID (Joffe, 2011, p. 452) or the rhetoric of 'othering' (Washer, 2004). This includes marginalizing certain groups in society as scapegoats for the EID, either because the virus originated elsewhere (and therefore a country and its peoples can be blamed), or because they 'are so different to us' (Washer, 2004(Washer, , p. 2570. ...
... It is almost inevitable that we will see more cases of COVID-19 in Australia in the coming weeks, along with the potential for community transmission in this country. (Murphy, 2020) These examples are features of the 'mixed messages' stage of pandemic reporting when news switches from 'worst-case scenarios' to reassuring rhetoric which serve to highlight that systems in place will cope with the health threat and emphasis is placed on the 'battle-ready' skills of medical systems and authorities to cope (Ungar, 1998). Others, such as Stephenson and Jamieson (2009, p. 525), have referred to this as a form of 'nation-building' which 'positions health as central to national security'. ...
Article
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The news media play an important role in communicating health topics to the public (Hallin & Briggs, 2015, Media, Culture & Society, vol. 37, pp. 85–100). Often journalists are the first to raise an alarm about the safety of vaccines, medicines and pathogen outbreaks including emerging infectious diseases (Joffe, 2011, Public Understanding of Science, vol. 20, pp. 446–460). But the news media have also been accused of distorting, exaggerating or amplifying risks which can lead to fear-mongering and public panic (Klemm et al., 2016). This paper examines how the only national broadsheet newspaper of Australia, The Australian, reported the COVID-19 pandemic from its first media appearance in January 2020 with a focus also on 2 days in February and March 2020. These timeframes coincided with significant coronavirus milestones for Australia, such as the first COVID-19 infection; the first deaths; and the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a global pandemic. This paper found that The Australian coverage was not hyped but measured, with heavy reliance on analysis of the economic fallout of COVID-19. It also found evidence the conservative newspaper used war metaphors to convey the fight against the coronavirus.
... Multiple studies have looked at the social construction in general, and framing specifically, of epidemics (Powers & Xiao, 2008). For example, scholars examined the coverage of the AIDS crisis with its early focus on marginalized groups, and identified unique frames such as the containment one (Ungar, 1998). Others (Powers & Gong, 2008) identified frames used in the coverage of SARS in Hong Kong's media, including a frame that focused on the political implications of the outbreak, with a focus on governmental failures. ...
... packages. The third corresponded to the pandemic (Ophir, 2018) and containment (Ungar, 1998) frames, including topics such as quarantine, online schooling, suspension of sports events, and the move of art and cultural events online. While this frame is similar to the one Ophir (2018) named pandemic, in the Italian COVID-19 context the frame was more about ways to contain existing outbreaks and not about preventing the disease from entering the country, and thus, we renamed it the containment frame, a term consistent with prior findings from the study of media coverage of Ebola (Ungar, 1998). ...
... The third corresponded to the pandemic (Ophir, 2018) and containment (Ungar, 1998) frames, including topics such as quarantine, online schooling, suspension of sports events, and the move of art and cultural events online. While this frame is similar to the one Ophir (2018) named pandemic, in the Italian COVID-19 context the frame was more about ways to contain existing outbreaks and not about preventing the disease from entering the country, and thus, we renamed it the containment frame, a term consistent with prior findings from the study of media coverage of Ebola (Ungar, 1998). Importantly, topic modeling interpretation is complex and the nature and meaning of some topics could be fully understood only when read in context and in light of the full texts in which they appeared. ...
Article
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Media framing of epidemics was found to influence public perceptions and behaviors in experiments, yet no research has been conducted on real-world behaviors during public health crises. We examined the relationship between Italian news media coverage of COVID-19 and compliance with stay-at-home orders, which could impact the spread of epidemics. We used a computational method for framing analysis (ANTMN) and combined it with Google’s Community Mobility data. A time-series analysis using vector autoregressive models showed that the Italian media used media frames that were largely congruent with ones used by journalists in other countries: A scientific frame focusing on symptoms and health effects, a containment frame focusing on attempts to ameliorate risks, and a social frame, focusing on political and social impact. The prominence of different media frames over time was associated with changes in Italians’ mobility patterns. Specifically, we found that the social frame was associated with increased mobility, whereas the containment frame was associated with decreased mobility. The results demonstrate that the ways the news media discuss epidemics can influence changes in community mobility, above and beyond the effect of the number of deaths per day.
... This property of news media was evident in the 1980s emergence of the then new infection HIV, which was marked by extensive reporting (Lupton, 1994), some of which has continued to demonise people with, and at risk of, the infection (Persson and Newman, 2008). Other newly infectious diseases outbreaks have sponsored pronounced news media activity, for example, Ebola (Ungar, 1998), and swine flu (Hilton and Hunt, 2011). News media are also said to influence the decision-making of governments and major health organisations have press offices to shape how their work is represented (Briggs and Hallin, 2016). ...
... Discovery narrative exhibited a reliance on the reported/videoed speech of scientific experts and authorities, a recognised technique observed in reporting on avian influenza (Ungar, 2008), Ebola (Ungar, 1998), and swine flu (Davis, 2017). Television featured still and moving images of laboratories, scientists in white coats, hospitals and headshots of researchers and clinicians. ...
... This theme, however, was present in 22% of news items, strengthening the point we have made that AMR news is largely in the reassurance/immunisation phase of reporting. Significantly, too, alert and discovery narratives occur contemporaneously and therefore unlike the news on pandemics when alert stories prefigure discovery and its associated meanings of reassurance (Ungar, 1998). This temporal blending of alert and discovery underlines the perspective that AMR news has passed into a period of reassurance. ...
Article
News media can be an important source of information about emerging health threats. They are also significant sites for the production of narrative on threats to life that help to condition and reflect the responses of governments and publics. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one such health threat with particular significance because it represents the failure to manage the risks to antibiotics and other antimicrobials, health technologies that have provided the basis for modern medicine. Knowledge of how news media address this situation is an important element for an effective public health response to AMR and helps to extend the social analysis of health and media. Based on an analysis of television, printed and digital news for 2017 in Australia, this paper examines the patterns and meanings of AMR news. It shows that AMR is a fragmented story mainly framed by scientific discovery. These stories reassure audiences that science is seeking out the means of arresting AMR and, therefore, also constructs lay publics as passive witnesses to the AMR story. This pattern of AMR story-telling furthers the social standing of science and scientists, but it also neglects deliberation on collective action, important lacunae in the social response to AMR.
... Health emergencies can lead to sensational news coverage that can provoke public panic (e.g., Ungar, 1998Ungar, , 2008Washer, 2006), and notably the conceptualization of drug addiction as a health issue and emergency -rather than a result of criminal and deviant activity -is fairly new. In prior years, media coverage about drug addiction and the "war on drugs" criminalized users and marginalized communities of color, centralizing personal accountability. ...
... For example, in An and Gower's (2009) analysis of major newspaper coverage of corporate crises, the attribution of responsibility frame, which centers blaming individuals, groups, or government for a particular issue or outcome, rose to the top, especially in preventable crises. In the context of news about health emergencies, previous literature suggests that the framing narratives often overemphasized risks, problems, and personal responsibility which, depending on the topic, can contribute to panic among the public (e.g., Finn & Palis, 2015;Kilgo et al., 2019;Lewison, 2008;Ungar, 1998;Washer, 2006). Prominent contextual frames related to public health emergencies in contexts of risk, politics, and stigma are of particular interest to this study. ...
... Scholars have long critiqued media coverage of health crises. For example, the elevation of risks over solutions and the inclusion of unreliable or speculative information can feed public panic that leads to irrational behavior and encourages stigmatization of certain groups (e.g., Cohen, 2002;Finn & Palis, 2015;Garland, 2008;Ungar, 1998Ungar, , 2008. Social amplification of risk theory purports that an emphasis on hazard and risks can interact with the ways in which audiences process information, causing increased fear (Gregory & Miller, 1998). ...
Article
In times of health crisis, news media have generally contributed to public panic, though these instances are usually explored in crises involving communicable diseases. However, in 2017, the long-brewing opioid crisis was formally declared a federal emergency by the United States government, leading to a considerable uptick in media attention to drugs and drug addiction. Considering 1) the news media’s tendency to contribute to public fear and panic during times of emergency or crisis, 2) the problematic representations of drug addiction in previous years, and 3) developing social media production practices among journalists on social media, this research uses content analysis to explore how highly circulated news outlets covered drug addiction in 2017–2018 and social media audiences’ emotional responses. Results indicate that political intervention drove media coverage rather than the effects of opioid addiction on people. Political interference led to increased anger and laughter reactions among Facebook users.
... Ebola, a lethal virus that causes severe bleeding and organ failure, became a real-life outbreak "in a cultural atmosphere already infused with the threat of infection" (Ungar, 1998, p. 45). Ungar (1998) refers to the timing of the Ebola Zaire epidemic as "exquisite" for unleashing a hot crisis; it occurred just after the release of Outbreak (a movie that eerily mirrored the epidemic), prompted an unprecedented frenzy of media coverage, and led various countries to tighten their borders (p. 46). ...
... 46). Aligned with Hoppe's (2018) discussion of xenophobia as a rhetorical strategy, Ungar (1998) describes globalization and othering as "part of the analytical tool kits available to journalists and … agenda-setters" (p. 53). ...
... Aligned with Hoppe (2018) and Ungar's (1998) discussions regarding the rhetorical influence of media on amplified feelings of fear or serenity, Fung et al. (2014) propose "exaggeration or reassurance from the media can inflame or subdue people's perceived risk of Ebola infection" (p. 2207). ...
Article
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This commentary aims to deconstruct xenophobia and its worldwide impact, particularly on people of Asian descent, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The commentary begins with an overview of COVID-19’s impact on the United States economy and educational landscape, continues with a discussion about the global history of pandemic-prompted xenophobia and its relationship to sensationalized media discourse, and concludes with recommendations to reconsider various aspects of intercultural communication in relation to public health issues.
... En sammenlikning med den danske dekningen har vist at både helsemyndigheter og medier i Danmark inntok en mer avslappet holdning og viste mer tillit til at den enkelte borger kunne ta gode valg (Andersen & Hornmoen, 2015). Det er typisk for pandemidekninger at de gjennomgår flere stadier, der den innledende dekningen gjerne er fryktpreget og framstiller viruset eller bakterien som en ukontrollerbar inntrenger, før befolkningen må roes ned gjennom fortellinger som forsikrer om at helsemyndighetene har kontroll (Ungar, 1998;Andersen & Hornmoen, 2020). ...
... Pandemijournalistikk preges dessuten ofte av diskurser om «de andre» (Briggs & Hallin, 2016;Ungar, 1998). Slike teknikker kan berolige befolkningen om at pandemien ikke vil ramme oss. ...
... Flere steder antyder dessuten artikkelen at Kina har brukt politisk makt til å overstyre vitenskapen: Briggs og Hallin (2016, s. 28) skriver om helsenyheter som har til hensikt å avdekke lureri og overtro: «This framing of biomedical authority as displacing not just ignorance but superstition and information provided by illegitimate sources sometimes figures prominently in stories that focus on racial difference». Selv om det ikke dreier seg om etnisitet her, har teksten et opplagt «de andre»-perspektiv (Ungar, 1998). Teksten skriver seg inn i en større fortelling om trusselen ved Kinas politiske og økonomiske ekspansjon. ...
... Dudo, Dahlstrom & Brossard, 2007;Fung, Namkoong & Brossard, 2011;Hansen, 2009;Wallis & Nerlich, 2005). Some have dealt specifically with coverage of Ebola outbreaks (Pieri, 2019;Ungar, 1998;Joffe & Haarhoff 2002), with the media's use of sources in risk communication (Kitzinger, 1999;Ashe, 2013), or the interplay between scientific expertise advice and media coverage (e.g. Nerlich & Halliday, 2007;Hornmoen, 2011), and between government information subsidies and news coverage of health crises (e.g. ...
... To a considerable extent, the media quote and reproduce the views of the most official sources. This is in accordance with findings from studies of media coverage of previous Ebola outbreaks (Ungar, 1998), and findings from coverage of the 2014-15 outbreak in other countries (Pieri, 2019). The types of media in our sample (two traditionally subscription-based 'broadsheets', an online-only newspaper, a tabloid, two public service broadcasters) seem to be less important for the form the coverage of the risk/crisis takes. ...
Chapter
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This chapter explores how newspapers in Denmark and Norway both verbally and visually framed and personalized risk and crisis assessments and scenarios following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Our point of departure is media samples from the two Nordic countries in two different periods of the outbreak. We investigate how authorities, non-governmental organizations and victims were used as sources and personalized in the mediated narratives. Whereas health authority sources provide risk assessments based on statistical predictions, NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières's coverage rather build on narrative evidence and personalization that focus on victims in stricken African nations. However, although the ways in which health authorities and NGOs frame risk differ, they testify to how the news media in Denmark and Norway tend to support and convey the crisis communication strategies of the institutions that the actors portrayed represent.
... Previous studies have proved that media framing highlights risks and consequently leads to public panic [50]; nevertheless, studies also have demonstrated that the mass media (especially the official mainstream media) pay increasing attention to risk communication, and curb a health crisis to reduce public panic by emphasizing solutions and successful containment measures [51]. Undoubtedly, it has become a form of appeasement and a tool to eliminate panic [52]. ...
... The current study revealed that for other regions than Wuhan in the Chinese mainland, the assumption that mass media exposure would directly affect risk perception and negative emotions was not found, whereas the positive impact of mass media exposure on subjective norms was confirmed. The possible reason may be that after entering the stage of ongoing prevention and control, the media mainly adopts the reassurance frame for news reporting [52]. Moreover, the public is relatively more concerned about actions undertaken by the government and medical information [99]. ...
Article
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In the context of global fighting against the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, how to promote the public implementation of preventive behavior is the top priority of pandemic prevention and control. This study aimed at probing how the media would affect the public's preventive behavior and excessive preventive intention accordingly. Data were collected from 653 respondents in the Chinese mainland through online questionnaires and further analyzed by using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). Taking risk perception, negative emotions, and subjective norms as mediators, this study explored the impact of mass media exposure and social networking services involvement on preventive behavior and excessive preventive intention. Based on differences in the severity of the pandemic, the samples were divided into the Wuhan group and other regions group for multi-group comparison. The results showed that mass media exposure had a significant positive impact on subjective norms; moreover, mass media exposure could significantly enhance preventive behavior through subjective norms, and social networking services involvement had a significant positive impact on negative emotions; meanwhile, social networking services involvement promoted excessive preventive intention through negative emotions.
... Previous media studies have typically shown that far-away groups are often blamed for an epidemic, notably because of their poor health systems and health or social practices (Broom and Broom 2017;Mitman 2014;Monson 2017;Sinah and Parmet 2016). This accusation pattern usually intertwines with dynamics of Otherness (Joffe and Haarhoff 2002;Ungar 1998), and is used to elevate the status of Western countries by arguing that they do not have the social conditions that would favour the spread of the disease. However, some studies (Joffe 2011;Mayor et al. 2013;Wagner-Egger et al. 2011), have identified accusations directed at institutions and political and health authorities, thus showing a dynamic of (dis)trust towards these establishments. ...
... This contrast between our findings and those of previous research on Ebola (Broom and Broom 2017;Mitman 2014;Monson 2017;Joffe and Haarhoff 2002;Ungar 1998) could be explained by our analysis of the temporal distribution of blame may nuance this. Indeed, it indicates that the populations in the affected areas were blamed most frequently in March 2014, when the international community took notice of the WHO's declaration of an international emergency, and in August 2014, when the first Nigerian to die of Ebola was recorded and Ebola cases were detected in Lagos, Africa's most populous city. ...
Article
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This study aimed to analyze main groups accused on social media of causing or spreading the 2014–2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. In this analysis, blame is construed as a vehicle of meaning through which the lay public makes sense of an epidemic, and through which certain classes of people become “figures of blame”. Data was collected from Twitter and Facebook using key word extraction, then categorized thematically. Our findings indicate an overall proximate blame tendency: blame was typically cast on “near-by” figures, namely national governments, and less so on “distant” figures, such as generalized figures of otherness (“Africans”, global health authorities, global elites). Our results also suggest an evolution of online blame. In the early stage of the epidemic, blame directed at the affected populations was more prominent. However, during the peak of the outbreak, the increasingly perceived threat of inter-continental spread was accompanied by a progressively proximal blame tendency, directed at figures with whom the social media users had pre-existing biopolitical frustrations. Our study proposes that pro-active and on-going analysis of blame circulating in social media can usefully help to guide communications strategies, making them more responsive to public perceptions.
... Dudo, Dahlstrom & Brossard, 2007;Fung, Namkoong & Brossard, 2011;Hansen, 2009;Wallis & Nerlich, 2005). Some have dealt specifically with coverage of Ebola outbreaks (Pieri, 2019;Ungar, 1998;Joffe & Haarhoff 2002), with the media's use of sources in risk communication (Kitzinger, 1999;Ashe, 2013), or the interplay between scientific expertise advice and media coverage (e.g. Nerlich & Halliday, 2007;Hornmoen, 2011), and between government information subsidies and news coverage of health crises (e.g. ...
... To a considerable extent, the media quote and reproduce the views of the most official sources. This is in accordance with findings from studies of media coverage of previous Ebola outbreaks (Ungar, 1998), and findings from coverage of the 2014-15 outbreak in other countries (Pieri, 2019). The types of media in our sample (two traditionally subscription-based 'broadsheets', an online-only newspaper, a tabloid, two public service broadcasters) seem to be less important for the form the coverage of the risk/crisis takes. ...
... Our study has shown that, rather than allocating responsibility, the Australian media have remained objective in their reporting following common "action" and "consequence" tropes as identified in previous studies (32). Allocating blame as a method of making sense of a crisis and allaying fears is well-known (20,34,80). Blame is usually apportioned to geographically distant groups with the mechanisms for assigning blame often including othering, and is commonly used as a tool by the media as a form of reassurance in the face of crisis (80,81). ...
... Allocating blame as a method of making sense of a crisis and allaying fears is well-known (20,34,80). Blame is usually apportioned to geographically distant groups with the mechanisms for assigning blame often including othering, and is commonly used as a tool by the media as a form of reassurance in the face of crisis (80,81). The relative absence of immediate blame during the study period represents a divergence from previous epidemics/pandemics (20). ...
Article
Global pandemics are likely to increase in frequency and severity, and media communication of key messages represents an important mediator of the behavior of individuals in response to public health countermeasures. Where the media places responsibility during a pandemic is therefore important to study as blame is commonly used as a tool to influence public behavior but can also lead to the subjective persecution of groups. The aim of this paper is to investigate where the media places responsibility for COVID-19 in Australia. Specifically, we identify the key themes and frames that are present and observe how they changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to government actions and progression of the pandemic. Understanding media representations of the COVID-19 pandemic will provide insights into ways in which responsibility is framed in relation to health action. Newspaper articles from the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald were sampled between January 20 and March 31 2020 on every second Monday. Factiva was used to identify and download newspaper articles using the following search criteria: “COVID-19” OR coronavirus OR “Wuhan virus” OR “corona virus” OR “Hebei virus” OR “wet market” OR (Wuhan AND virus) OR (market AND Wuhan and virus) or (China AND Virus) or (Novel AND Virus). Articles were imported into Nvivo and thematic and framing analyses were used. The results show that framing of the pandemic was largely based on societal issues with the theme of economic disruption prevalent throughout the study time period. Moral evaluations of the pandemic were infrequent initially but increased co-incident with the first signs of “flattening of the curve.” Explicit examples of blame were very rare but were commonly implied based on the causal origin of the virus. The Australian printed media were slow to report on the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition they were reluctant to apportion blame until the end of the study period, after confirmed case rates had begun to slow. This is interpreted as being due to an evaluation of the pandemic risks as low by the media and therefore the tools of othering and blame were not used until after the study period when the actual risks had begun to abate, more consistent with an inquiry than a mediating mechanism.
... Da quel momento in poi l'emergenza riceve un'ampia copertura mediatica che evolve in linea con l'evoluzione dell'epidemia (Kitzinger e Reilly, 1997;Eldridge e Reilly, 2003). Il discorso sulla SARS è inizialmente caratterizzato da un frame allarmistico di «mutazionecontagio» (Ungar, 1998; tipico delle prime fasi delle malattie emergenti: siamo minacciati da una serie di nuovi microbi-aggressori che sono più intelligenti di noi; una serie di cambiamenti come la sovrappopolazione, il degrado ambientale e l'uso smodato di antibiotici sono responsabili per il manifestarsi della catastrofe; i microbi non conoscono confini e ̶ ̶ l'ultima apocalittica previsione ̶ ̶ ci attendiamo una nuova pandemia. Tale frame allarmistico ha avuto una durata e uno spazio relativamente limitati nel discorso mediatico italiano. ...
... Le prime notizie adottano un frame interpretativo ampiamente utilizzato nel passato: «la malattia proviene invariabilmente da qualche altra parte» e solitamente da un posto esotico, primitivo (Sontag, 1991, p. 133), attivando in tal modo processi di costruzione dell'alterità della malattia e dei malati (othering) (Gius, 1990;Crawford, 1994;Ungar, 1998). ...
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Riassunto Dopo quasi venti anni di pandemie annunciate, nel 2020 la COVID-19, prima vera pandemia del nuovo secolo, irrompe nella nostra vita sociale stravolgendone ogni aspetto e sfidando i sistemi di governance già sperimentati a livello globale e nazionale. Il presente articolo riesamina l'esperienza di un'emergenza epidemica del recente passato la SARS al fine di individuare, pur in chiave esplorativa, spunti di riflessione per il presente. Nel caso della ̶ ̶ ̶ SARS, la comunicazione istituzionale era riuscita, attraverso la "messa in scena" degli strumenti per affrontare e gestire il rischio epidemico, ad impedire che la preoccupazione dei cittadini si trasformasse in allarme sociale. L'esperienza attuale, invece, sembra mostrare, da una parte, la debacle del sistema di governance globale della pandemia e, dall'altra, la difficoltà degli attori nazionali di rassicurare i cittadini rispetto alla capacità del sistema di governare l'emergenza, consentendo a un frame di allarme di dominare il discorso pubblico. Abstract. Announced Pandemics and True Pandemics: From SARS to COVID-19 In 2020, after almost twenty years of announced pandemic risks, COVID-19 the first "real" pandemic of the new century irrupts into our societies causing major disruptions of everyday life and challenging health governance at global and national levels. This article reviews the management of an epidemic of the recent past SARS in order to gain explorative insights for the present. With regard to SARS, through the adoption of measures for ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ the management of the epidemic risk, the institutional communication has succeeded in preventing citizens' concerns from turning into social alarm. The current experience reveals a different picture. On the one hand, it shows the debacle of the international system of governance of pandemics, and, on the other, the difficulty of the national actors to reassure citizens about the ability of the system to govern the emergency, leaving room for the alarm to dominate the public discourse.
... Moreover, Dan and Raupp (2018) investigated 35 articles from EBSCO host which conducted research on risk framing of health crises and discovered 15 repeated frames. Exploring such media frames is important because how the mass media and public health agency communications are framed influences the public interpretation of health information (Ungar, 1998). ...
... Thus, through applying SARF to an empirical examination of MERS rumour propagation during and after KCDC's retainment of risk information, this paper explores what media frames were used to cover the information crisis. The risk-reporting media frames are categorized into risk-alarming and risk-mitigating media frames which are based on SARF's concept of risk amplification and attenuation (Kasperson et al., 1988) and three stages of risk reporting (Ungar, 1998). This research essentially analyzes online news articles and their risk-reporting patterns to investigate three major research questions: ...
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Purpose This paper explores the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea in 2015 in order to examine social implications of news media's roles during rumour propagation. There was an alarming level of public fear during the disease outbreak due toan information crisis, resulted by the government's holdback of vital information and the widespread MERS rumours on social media. By paying attention to news coverage patterns of rumours and comparing them across the outbreak period, the paper examines the following research questions: (a) Under what media frames were the MERS rumours reported by the online news? (b) Which media frame did the online news use most frequently? (c) How did the media frames change during and after the information vacuum? Methods Content analysis of news articles that covered MERS rumours during the outbreak has been conducted. Inductive open coding has been performed to investigate what reactions and media frames the news coverages have demonstrated to report the rumour propagation. Sample The article samples were retrieved for big data analysis from the Big Kinds or the Korea Integrated News Database System (www.bigkinds.or.kr), by using the search terms, “MERS” and “SNS (Social Network Services).” A total of 142 articles have been sampled. Results The paper found 7 reaction variables and categorized them into 2 risk‐reporting media frames: risk‐alarming frame(Anxiety, Criticisms and Damage) and risk‐mitigating frame (Government, Correction, Remedies and Causes). The paper discovered that anxiety was the most frequently observed reaction variable across all phases. The paper also concluded that there has been a decrease in risk‐alarming media frames and an increase in attempts to analyze causes for the rumour propagation (Causes), as the outbreak proceeds to the second phase, when the information vacuum finally ended. Conclusion By exploring a disease outbreak in which ineffective risk management and absence of official information caused significant problems, the paper underlines the need for systematic risk communication measures, endorsed by effective collaboration among political leadership, media and the public.
... Otros investigadores han propuesto un modelo más complejo de la representación de epidemias en los medios de comunicación. El sociólogo Sheldon Ungar (1998Ungar ( , 2008, en investigaciones sobre la cobertura mediática de las epidemias de Ébola y de la gripe aviar, ha propuesto que la cobertura mediática de "enfermedades emergentes" se caracteriza típicamente por tres fases: en la primera suena una alarma sobre una grave amenaza potencial para la salud pública mundial; en la segunda los mensajes se mezclan entre alarmantes y tranquilizantes; en la tercera los mensajes de "contención" tienden a predominar, tranquilizando a la población con el objetivo de que la crisis pueda ser administrada y que no se instaure el pánico (véase también Joffe & Haaroff, 2002). En los casos analizados por Ungar (1998Ungar ( , 2008, la contención se produce centralmente por la vía de externalizar el peligro; la amenaza se asocia a un "otro", a una población que se proyecta a una distancia considerable del receptor, destinatario de la nota. ...
... El sociólogo Sheldon Ungar (1998Ungar ( , 2008, en investigaciones sobre la cobertura mediática de las epidemias de Ébola y de la gripe aviar, ha propuesto que la cobertura mediática de "enfermedades emergentes" se caracteriza típicamente por tres fases: en la primera suena una alarma sobre una grave amenaza potencial para la salud pública mundial; en la segunda los mensajes se mezclan entre alarmantes y tranquilizantes; en la tercera los mensajes de "contención" tienden a predominar, tranquilizando a la población con el objetivo de que la crisis pueda ser administrada y que no se instaure el pánico (véase también Joffe & Haaroff, 2002). En los casos analizados por Ungar (1998Ungar ( , 2008, la contención se produce centralmente por la vía de externalizar el peligro; la amenaza se asocia a un "otro", a una población que se proyecta a una distancia considerable del receptor, destinatario de la nota. En consistencia con esta perspectiva, Sánchez Maldonado, Terrón Blanco y Lozano Rendón (2016) han hallado que en la cobertura de VIH/sida en los periódicos mexicanos se utiliza un lenguaje alarmante, principalmente en notas sobre países extranjeros. ...
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En este artículo se explora la mediatización de las epidemias como objeto de conocimiento público, mediante un análisis de contenido de las noticias sobre la gripe A (H1N1) de 2009 en Argentina, Estados Unidos y Venezuela. Los resultados indican que los periódicos siguieron los esfuerzos de las autoridades sanitarias de movilizar la atención pública y, simultáneamente, contener la alarma exagerada y los discursos sobre el virus.
... En epidemias y pandemias anteriores, algunas imágenes han adquirido un estatus emblemático en los noticiarios de televisión, como el traje para materiales peligrosos y las personas enmascaradas en el brote de Ébola de 1995 (Ungar, 1998) y la epidemia de SARS de 2003(Joye, 2010, donde "el elemento de pánico (global) fue mejor ilustrado con imágenes de gente anónima usando mascarillas quirúrgicas" (Joye, 2010, p.595). Durante la pandemia de gripe porcina en 2009, la placa de Petri y el color rojo que se le aplicaron en las pantallas de información de televisión se usaron "para transmitir alarma y peligro" (Luth, Jardine, y Bubela, 2013, p. 8). ...
... Al igual que en otros artículos sobre la comunicación en las crisis sanitarias o las pandemias (Ungar, 1998;Wallis y Nerlich, 2005;Joye, 2010), los recursos gráficos servirían aquí para comunicar el peligro explicando algunas de las características del virus más complejas de entender, como el mecanismo que utiliza la partícula vírica para penetrar en nuevos organismos e infectarlos. Sin embargo, otras motivaciones podrían ser importantes. ...
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Introducción: Los medios de comunicación tradicionales están desempeñando en España un papel destacado en la cobertura informativa de la COVID-19. Objetivo: Estudiar las representaciones del virión del SARSCovid-2 en los informativos de televisión y prensa, las motivaciones que subyacen en su diseño y su relación con las imágenes científicas del mismo. Metodología: Se ha utilizado una metodología mixta cualitativa-cuantitativa con entrevistas a expertos y análisis mediante el estadístico Chi-cuadrado de sendas muestras de 1.732 noticias, extraídas de la versión impresa de 19 diarios españoles, y de 121 representaciones del virión en 37 programas informativos de televisión. Resultados: Un 36,02% de las imágenes de la prensa en papel son ilustraciones científicas, mientras que en los informativos de TV sólo un 11,57%. Conclusiones: Se demuestra que la prensa ha sido más fiel a las imágenes científicas que los informativos televisivos. Las principales cadenas utilizan en sus informativos ilustraciones en 3D del virión donde frecuentemente destacan espículas alargadas terminadas en tentáculos, lo que responde a una motivación estética y de atraer la atención del espectador.
... A content analysis of three U.S. TV stations' and nine English-language newspapers' coverage of the 1995 Ebola Zaire outbreak found that the mention of Ebola in their coverage was accompanied by the words "killer" or "deadly" (Ungar, 1998). The 1995 outbreak quickly led to countries tightening their borders, quarantining travelers, and issuing travel advisories. ...
... The New York Times' coverage developed from the concept of Ebola being a highly contagious disease with a 90% mortality rate on day one to Ebola being a disease that is much harder to catch than measles or the flu on day two. At the same time, the Times of London's coverage shifted from Ebola as an easily spread, airborne disease on day one to Ebola being relatively difficult to catch on day three (Ungar, 1998). Sastry and Lovari (2017) provided a narrative analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO's official Facebook pages during the 2014 Ebola epidemic, highlighting the importance for public health organizations to have a clear and credible voice in the social media realm, characterized by the interaction of organizational messages, users' digital practices, and mass media coverage. ...
Article
The Ebola outbreak that started in 2014 had infected 28,652 people and taken more than 11,325 lives by spring 2016. Along with this infectious disease pandemic, a pandemic of fear surfaced, especially on social media platforms. Yet little is known about the types of communications, the larger ecological context, and the associated risk perception factors that were present in the social media discussion. This study focused on the social media platforms Twitter and Pinterest and analyzed tweets and pins through the lens of a risk communication theory, the Risk Perception Model, as well as a health behavior theory, the Health Belief Model. Large differences were found in the presence of risk perception variables and health behavior variables between the two platforms, and recommendations for public health practitioners to address fear, anger, and attitudinal biases related to Ebola are included.
... Of the plethora of information covered in news on health crises, crisis response actions/coping strategies are key areas (Bardhan, 2001;Ngai et al, 2020;Pan and Meng, 2016;Shih et al., 2008). Considerable research has found evidence of response actions in helping to contain a pandemic (Kilgo et al., 2019;Pan and Meng, 2016;Shih et al., 2008;Ungar, 1998Ungar, , 2008. For example, crisis response actions like containment strategies were widely reported in newspaper coverage on Ebola (Kilgo et al., 2019) while the action frame to prevent the virus spread was seen in news media coverage on COVID-19 in China via social media (Ngai et al., 2020). ...
... Such information can allay fear (Ngai and Jin, 2016) and can be disseminated in mainstream news media. Kilgo et al. (2019) and Ungar (1998Ungar ( , 2008 highlighted that media coverage of response actions is solution-focused, thereby allaying panic rather than inducing panic. Given that prevention and coping strategies are most crucial in curbing a new pandemic, our study examined the content within mainstream news media that focused on coping strategies for the prevention and protection from COVID-19 on social media in the U.S. and China. ...
Article
This study compares the coverage of coping strategies and emotions portrayed in news regarding COVID-19 by The New York Times in the U.S. and People’s Daily of China via social media. By employing corpus assisted discourse analysis to scrutinize the text corpora, our study uncovered prominent keywords and themes. Findings indicate that a comprehensive range of themes relating to coping strategies was more common in People’s Daily while a relatively smaller number of themes was apparent in The New York Times. In terms of emotions exhibited in the news coverage, positive emotions such as cheer, gratitude, and good wishes predominated in People’s Daily whereas in The New York Times, negative emotions in the form of fears and anxiety were salient. The differences are explained with reference to the political context intertwined with the news environment and prior experiences in handling epidemics, with practical implications.
... By comparison to the 'hot' health crisis of Ebola [18], more 'run of the mill' (mosquito-, waterand food-borne) infectious diseases do not grab the headlines yet overall cause far more morbidity and mortality [19][20][21]. These are set to have an ever-greater effect in future due to the escalating rate of climate change impacting on an increasing population living in at-risk areas [22][23][24][25]. ...
... Benzer şekilde kriz ortamlarında da sosyal medya kitle algısının şekillenmesinde etkin bir role sahiptir (Bkz. Ungar, 1998;Kilgo ve diğerleri, 2019;Fernández-Luque ve Bau, 2015;Oyeyemi, Gabarron ve Wynn, 2014). Kullanım alanı giderek artan Twitter, Facebook ve Youtube gibi yeni medya kanalları büyük pandemi dönemlerinde geleneksel medyayı ve resmi kanalları aşacak ve bastıracak güce sahip niteliktedir (Walker, 2016: 43). ...
... A notable exception is Ungar's (2000) pivotal article "Knowledge, ignorance and the popular culture: Climate change versus the ozone hole," which showed how coordinated action and effective organizing to address the threat to the ozone layer only took place once it had been framed metaphorically as an instance of "penetration," that is, by the use of a metaphor that people from all walks of life could relate to and which for this reason, importantly, they could then take coordinated action to address this issue. Ungar described how the grand challenge became a "hot" issue after being effectively referred to in metaphorical terms as a "hole" in the "protective shield" of the ozone layer exposing the Earth to intense bombardment by life-threatening "rays" (see also Ungar, 1998, on Ebola as a "hot crisis"). By resonating with different publics, Ungar (2000) argues, this "shield" metaphor served to "bridge" different understandings, offering very simple referential schema as well as a clear set of pragmatic cues for action to close the "hole" and restore the strength of the protective ozone layer, or "shield." ...
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Societal grand challenges have moved from a marginal concern to a mainstream issue within organization and management theory. How diverse forms of organizing help tackle – or reinforce – grand challenges has become centrally important. In this introductory paper, we take stock of the contributions to the volume on Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges and identify three characteristics of grand challenges that require further scholarly attention: their interconnectedness, fluidity, and paradoxical nature. We also emphasize the need to expand our methodological repertoire and reflect upon our practices as a scholarly community. © 2022 Ali Aslan Gümüsay, Emilio Marti, Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich and Christopher Wickert. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited.
... Aunque ninguno de los casos analizados hasta la fecha puede compararse con el impacto del coronavirus, que tiene un alcance realmente global, los estudios sobre la cobertura de los medios en otras enfermedades como la de las vacas locas (Washer, 2006), el SARS (Lewison, 2008) o el caso ya mencionado del Ébola (Ungar, 1998), coinciden en denunciar la cobertura sensacionalista de los medios. ...
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The Covid-19 pandemic has confined millions of citizens in their homes. The situation of isolation has many consequences at multiple levels: social, psychological, economic, educational…, and also communicative. Based on a survey to 1,122 people during the most severe confinement phase, this article aims to analyze how information consumption has been modified during this period of time, and how citizens assess media coverage of Covid-19. The results show citizenship get more news and more frequently than before the health crisis. All in all, citizens maintain a critical attitude towards media coverage of the outbreak, which is, according to the results, conditioned by the media ideology, and reported in a sensationalist way, generating unnecessary social alarm.
... Similarly, Ungar (1998) identifies the use of words such as 'assailant' and 'killer' in newspaper articles describing Ebola, but within military discourse. The most widely used frame discovered in Vellek's (2016) study even subsumes notions of a 'killer' alongside war and plague metaphors, rather than considering the killer from within a predatory model. ...
Article
The 2014 Ebola outbreak in three African states transformed the virus into a social reality in which media representations contributed to globalised hysteria and had rhetorical effects. This study investigated representations of the Ebola virus/disease in South African news reports (March 2014–June 2015). Four discourses were found to operate within the globalised social context: threat to humanity, predation, invasion, and conspiracy. The South African reportage framed Ebola as a predator and criminal rather than using stock warfare imagery. Representations indicated alignment with phobic high-income countries and colonial hegemony.
... From this perspective, people are motivated to punish norm-deviating ingroup members more harshly than norm-deviating outgroup members (Branscombe, Wann, Noel, & Coleman, 1993;Jetten & Hornsey, 2014). On the other hand, studies examining responses to infectious diseases have shown an 'othering effect,' whereby blame and responsibility for spreading the virus are sooner attributed to outgroups than to the ingroup (Eicher & Bangerter, 2015;Joffe, 1999;Ungar, 1998). Because people search for positive distinctiveness in relation to outgroups in any given comparative context, norm deviation by outgroup members further justifies outgroup derogation (Green et al., 2010;Joffe & Staerkl e, 2007). ...
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, societies face the formidable challenge of developing sustainable forms of sociability-cumsocial-distancing-enduring social life while containing the virus and preventing new outbreaks. Accordant public policies often balance between retributive (punishment-based) and assistance (solidarity-based) measures to foster responsible behaviour. Yet, the uncontrolled spreading of the disease has divided public opinion about which measures are best suited, and it has made salient group disparities in behaviour, potentially straining intergroup relations, elevating heated emotions, and undercutting coordinated international responses. In a 2 9 2 between-subjects experiment, British citizens (N = 377) read about national ingroup or outgroup members (categorical differentiation), who were either conforming to or deviating from the corona regulations (normative differentiation). Participants then reported moral emotions towards the target national group and indicated support for public policies. In general, support for assistance policies outweighed support for retributive measures. Second, however, norm deviation was associated with less positive and more negative moral emotions, the latter category further relating to more punitiveness and less assistance support. Finally, respondents who read about norm-violating outgroup members especially reported support for retributive measures, indicating that people might use norm deviation to justify outgroup derogation. We discuss implications for policymakers and formulate future research avenues. The rapid outbreak of the COVID-19 disease has made salient disparities in responding to the pandemic. Country governments are adopting a wide array of potentially effective containment measures, often walking a tight rope between assistance (e.g., information and sensitization campaigns) and retributive measures (e.g., penalty fees for citizens
... Responding to public health threats like an epidemic requires a multi-faceted approach that involves policies aimed at curtailing the spread, as well as informing diverse publics in ways that recognize the differing risks and baseline values of different groups. Risk communication strategies tend to downplay emotions or assume that the public experiences overwhelming panic and fear during a crisis (Kilgo et al., 2019;Ungar, 1998), while direct research on the public's emotions during a crisis is more mixed (Johnson, 1988(Johnson, , 2017. Feelings of fear, as well as anger, compassion, and humor, might be inevitable in the complex discussions that surround a public health threat. ...
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In this article, we examine how humor practices on Twitter resist dominant emotion norms during an emerging disease outbreak. Humor may seem frivolous or irreverent but can constitute a powerful practice for channeling and managing difficult emotions - like anxiety and fear - during an outbreak. We find that the use of AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) and Black cultural references were widespread in Ebola-related tweets using humor. Together these communicative practices constitute Black Twitter. Humor can signal membership in Black culture while also performing and managing specific emotions in relation to epidemic risk in online spaces. Humor practices on Black Twitter were more likely to reimagine social connections despite the risks posed by the epidemic, whereas mainstream forms of humor emphasized retreat and self-isolation in response to an epidemic threat. These findings center the agency and creativity of this influential digital community while showing the variability of communication practices among a group facing disproportionate vulnerability to outbreaks and public health threats. The implications for public health messaging are discussed.
... Infine, il coronavirus ha dimostrato, ancora una volta, quanto piccolo sia diventato il mondo: un virus venuto da lontano e che ha dato luogo alla «prima pandemia della globalizzazione». In verità, già in occasione dell'epidemia di Ebola a metà degli anni '90 si constatò che quel virus giunse in Europa e in America del nord al seguito di qualcuno proveniente in aereo dalle aree del contagio (Lovejoy, 1993;Ungar, 1998;van Loon, 2002), ma gli effetti non furono così estesi come oggi. ...
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Riassunto: Questo contributo prova a delineare le linee di trasformazione indotte dalla pandemia del 2020 e quali siano le tendenze future. In particolare si porrà attenzione all'ambito economico e del lavoro e agli effetti sugli equilibri tra le aree del mondo in epoca successiva al COVID-19. Dopo l'introduzione, nel paragrafo n. 2 discuteremo criticamente l'idea che il COVID-19 sia stato un "cigno nero". Si dimostrerà infatti che il fenomeno fosse tutt'altro che inatteso, che le cause di insorgenza della pandemia e i fattori che ne hanno favorito la diffusione fossero noti da tempo; emergerà il ruolo cruciale della questione ambientale e del riscaldamento climatico. Il paragrafo n. 3 si concentra sugli effetti della pandemia sull'economia e sul mercato del lavoro. Le conseguenze della pandemia ripropongono la centralità dello Stato e dell'intervento in chiave espansiva della spesa pubblica e contribuiranno ad accelerare alcune trasformazioni già in atto, quali, ad esempio, i processi di digitalizzazione in alcuni ambiti produttivi e non solo. Il paragrafo n. 4 è dedicato agli equilibri geopolitici dopo la pandemia. Abstract. The Post COVID-19 World. Caesura or Continuity? The paper aims at outlining the transformation trends, particularly focusing on the world economic and labour market outlook and the geopolitical balances shaped by the COVID-19. The paper is structured as follows. After the introduction, the paragraph number 2 discusses if the COVID-19 outbreak is a "black swan" event. It will be shown that the pandemic is a matter of the fragile global system. The COVID-19 outbreak is in fact the outcome of the environmental stress and of the global warming. The paragraph number 3 is devoted to the effects of the pandemic on the economy and on the labour market. Recovery plans in supporting companies and families let the state play a pivotal role in promoting such measures. The consequences of the pandemic will accelerate also transformations processes such as, f.i., the digitalization processes not only in manufacturing production areas. The paragraph number 4 is devoted to the evolution of geopolitical balances after the pandemic. 1. Introduzione La "narrazione" mediatica ha teso ad accreditare l'idea che la pandemia da coronavirus costituisca uno spartiacque storico e che «nulla sarà più come prima». In verità, gli ultimi vent'anni sono costellati da eventi percepiti e presentati come di portata epocale: l'attacco alle Torri Gemelle nel 2001, il terrorismo islamista, la crisi economica; finanche le innovazioni tecnologiche, di cui tutti noi quotidianamente beneficiamo sotto forma di dispositivi digitali, vengono considerati un fattore dirompente. La pandemia del 2020 si è venuta a sovrapporre ad una serie di mutamenti "strutturali" già in atto a livello planetario e che sinteticamente richiamiamo: innanzi tutto la questione 1
... Taj okvir sazdan je od sledećih elemenata: (a) epidemija se brzo širi, (b) stradaće stari i bolesni, i (c) zdravstveni sistem neće moći da izdrži i (d) kriva mora da se izravna. 11 Proces definisanja ili uokviravanja zaraze kao društvenog i političkog problema, ne samo da je trajao relativno kratko, već je bio pod snažnim uticajem znanja i iskustava iz prethodnih pandemija koje su uobličile međunarodne naučne zajednice (Ungar, 1998;Capano, et al., 2020). Kao i u drugim slučajevima, uokviravanje pandemije Kovid-19 dalo je jasna uputstva za mere i javne politike (Knill and Tosun, 2012: 98). ...
Article
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Why do we wear masks? Legitimacy, trust and norm compliance during pandemic. APSTRAKT: Zdravstveni propisi kojima se obuzdava širenje virusa SARS CoV-2 i bolesti Kovid-19 koju taj virus izaziva doneli su niz ograničenja u naš društveni život, od nošenja maski i održavanja fizičke udaljenosti, do potpunog ukidanja važnih segmenata društvenog života. Time su vlade Srbije i drugih zemalja odgovorile na ključne rizike pandemije: po zdravlje pojedinaca i po sposobnost zdravstvenih sistema da zbrinu veliki broj bolesnih. Na samom početku pandemije u javnosti su se uobličile dve predstave: da su mladi u manjem riziku od starijih i bolesnih, i da se oni manje pridržavaju epidemioloških mera. Istraživanjem na uzorku studenata Pravnog fakulteta u Beogradu pokušao sam da ustanovim u kojoj meri oni poštuju propise i koji faktori na to najviše utiču. Rezultati pokazuju da relativno mali procenat ispitanika redovno poštuje zdravstvene propise i da se najveći deo njih nalazi u zoni ambivalencije. Na poštovanje mera utiču sledeći faktori: uverenje da su mere opravdane i efikasne, odnosno, slaganje sa sadržajem mera, poverenje u institucije, a posebno poverenje u stručnjake i lekare; te redovno praćenje medija i uverenje da su oni objektivni. Socijalna kontrola, odnosno, moralna i zakonska osuda zbog nepoštovanja mera nije se pokazala značajnim prediktorom. Ovi nalazi pokazuju da u kriznim situacijama kakva je ova, dobrovoljno poštovanje zakonskih mera može obezbediti jasna i transparentna komunikacija, te ponašanje aktera i institucija koje uliva poverenje. ABSTRACT: Health regulations curbing the spread of the Kovid-19 virus have brought a number of restrictions into our social life, from wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, to the complete abolition of important segments 1 danilo.vukovic@ius.bg.ac.rs
... By comparison to the 'hot' health crisis of Ebola [18], more 'run of the mill' (mosquito-, waterand food-borne) infectious diseases do not grab the headlines yet overall cause far more morbidity and mortality [19][20][21]. These are set to have an ever-greater effect in future due to the escalating rate of climate change impacting on an increasing population living in at-risk areas [22][23][24][25]. ...
... Sin embargo, otros estudios han destacado la importancia de las imágenes en las informaciones sobre salud ya sea en prensa escrita (Fundació Vila Casas, 2014;Minervini y Pedrazzini, 2004) o en televisión (Torres, 2006;Fernández, 2013). En epidemias y pandemias anteriores, algunas imágenes han adquirido un estatus emblemático en los noticiarios de televisión, como el traje para materiales peligrosos y las personas enmascaradas difundidas tras el brote de Ébola de 1995 (Ungar, 1998) y del SARS en 2003 (Joye, 2010). En este último caso, «el elemento de pánico (global) mejor ilustrado fue con imágenes de gente anónima usando mascarillas quirúrgicas» (Joye, 2010, p. 595). ...
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Los medios de comunicación han desempeñando en España un papel destacado en la cobertura informativa de la COVID-19. Tras los primeros casos detectados, se vieron obligado a desarrollar con urgencia representaciones gráficas del virión del SARS-CoV-2 para hablar de un enemigo invisible y desconocido. Este estudio parte del análisis de estas primeras representaciones mediáticas para determinar cómo, durante la primera ola, contribuyeron a conformar un imaginario visual del virus en la población española. Para ello, se ha analizado una muestra válida de 369 dibujos de viriones del SARS-CoV-2 realizados por adultos durante junio y julio de 2020 y se ha comparado con las representaciones gráficas ofrecidas por los informativos de televisión y la prensa en papel entre enero y abril de 2020 en España y con las principales imágenes del SARS-CoV-2 difundidas por la comunidad científica. El estudio concluye que el imaginario predominante se aproxima en mayor medida a los patrones representativos ofrecidos por los informativos de televisión, a pesar de ser una representación menos científica del virus que la ofrecida por la prensa en papel. Asimismo, los patrones representacionales presentan dos especificidades a destacar: espículas terminadas en punta, que otorga agresividad al virión y rasgos faciales expresivos propios de una humanización o animalización en la representación del virión.
... Benzer şekilde kriz ortamlarında da sosyal medya kitle algısının şekillenmesinde etkin bir role sahiptir (Bkz. Ungar, 1998;Kilgo ve diğerleri, 2019;Fernández-Luque ve Bau, 2015;Oyeyemi, Gabarron ve Wynn, 2014). Kullanım alanı giderek artan Twitter, Facebook ve Youtube gibi yeni medya kanalları büyük pandemi dönemlerinde geleneksel medyayı ve resmi kanalları aşacak ve bastıracak güce sahip niteliktedir (Walker, 2016: 43). ...
... Taj okvir sazdan je od sledećih elemenata: (a) epidemija se brzo širi, (b) stradaće stari i bolesni, i (c) zdravstveni sistem neće moći da izdrži i (d) kriva mora da se izravna. 11 Proces definisanja ili uokviravanja zaraze kao društvenog i političkog problema, ne samo da je trajao relativno kratko, već je bio pod snažnim uticajem znanja i iskustava iz prethodnih pandemija koje su uobličile međunarodne naučne zajednice (Ungar, 1998;Capano, et al., 2020). Kao i u drugim slučajevima, uokviravanje pandemije Kovid-19 dalo je jasna uputstva za mere i javne politike (Knill and Tosun, 2012: 98). ...
Article
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Health regulations curbing the spread of the Kovid-19 virus have brought a number of restrictions into our social life, from wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, to the complete abolition of important segments of social life. In doing so, the government has responded to the key risks of a pandemic: the health of individuals and the ability of health systems to care for large numbers of patients. At the very beginning of the pandemic, two notions took shape in the public: that young people are at lower risk than the elderly and the sick, and that they adhere less to epidemiological measures. Using a dana obtained through the survey at a sample of students at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, I tried to establish the extent to which they comply with the regulations and which factors influence it the most. The results show that a relatively small percentage of respondents regularly comply with health regulations and that most of them are in the ambivalence zone. Compliance with the measures is influenced by the following factors: belief that the measures are justified and effective, that is, agreement with the content of the norms; trust in institutions, and especially trust in experts and doctors; as well as regular media consumption and trust in their objectivity. Social control, that is, moral and legal condemnation for non-compliance with measures, did not prove to be significant. These findings show that in crisis such as this, clear and transparent communication, and the behavior of actors and institutions that instills trust, can ensure voluntary compliance with legal measures.
... A notable exception to this generalization is Ungar's (2000) pivotal article 'Knowledge, ignorance and the popular culture: Climate change versus the ozone hole', which showed how coordinated action and effective organizing to address the threat to the ozone layer only took place once it had been framed metaphorically as an instance of 'penetration', that is, by the use of a metaphor that people from all walks of life could relate to and which for this reason, importantly, they could then take coordinated action to address this issue. Ungar described how the grand challenge became a 'hot' issue after being effectively referred to in metaphorical terms as a 'hole' in the 'protective shield' of the ozone layer exposing the Earth to intense bombardment by lifethreatening 'rays' (see also Ungar, 1998, on Ebola as a 'hot crisis'). By resonating with different publics, Ungar (2000) argues, this 'shield' metaphor served to 'bridge' different understandings, offering very simple referential schema as well as a clear set of pragmatic cues for action to close the 'hole' and restore the strength of the protective ozone layer, or 'shield.' ...
... In the abundant photographs, sampling agents, usually anonymised by personal protective equipment (PPE), stand against the lush background of a jungle and display rodents in transparent bags or quartered bats to the camera's flashlight (Roth 2021b). Such a hazmat suit imagery, prevalent in the media coverage of Ebola outbreaks since 1994, was commented on by sociologists (Gerlach 2019;Ungar 1998). They proposed that the hazmat suit 'bears the metaphoric burden of making Ebola a visible and affective presence' (Gerlach 2019: 197), one that revolves around the contagious pole of 'diseasable' Africans, and the containment pole of prepared Northern biosecurity systems. ...
Thesis
This dissertation examines the ways in which the ‘truth’ about an outbreak of zoonotic disease stabilises through the labour of sampling animals. While scarcely any case of Ebola had ever been reported in West Africa, the deadliest epidemic to date started in 2013 in the southeastern region of Guinea called ‘Forest Guinea’. Since then, ecologists and virologists from Africa, America and Europe have been conducting the largest investigation into what some frame as the origins of Ebola: they are trying to establish a fuller picture of the processes by which the disease is maintained and infects humans in a place that has become known as one of its ‘hotspots’. During 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork, I closely tracked the Guinean staff of one of those foreign projects – local vets who professionally defined their role as préleveurs (‘samplers’ in English) – while they captured animals, took, and dispatched fluid samples, communicated about the risks of contact with bats, and disclosed the finding of a new species of Ebola virus in bat species. The social sciences have dismantled the idea of singular, hegemonic epidemic origins, and indicated that complex sociospatial conditions allow for epidemics to emerge. This dissertation adopts a different analytical angle and outlines the technological, epistemological, and affective consequences of framing microbiological research as a search for the origin of epidemics. It focuses on the economy of knowledge, epistemological labour, and ethical aspirations of animal préleveurs, whose work is to make a hotspot exist in Forest Guinea. By combining attention to history, the scientific literature and ethnographic fieldwork, I resituate animal sampling within a West African genealogy of asymmetrical extraction and conservation, which crosscuts the colonial sciences, interwar disease ecology, global health, outbreak preparedness, and the newer One Health agenda. At the core of this multifaceted sampling enterprise is an interdependence between anticipatory practices and forms of insecurity – political, economic, environmental. The thesis suggests that insecurity is normalised by hotspot investigations, and that associated social hierarchies, causalities and moralities inflect the local notion of responsibility for the epidemic. Ultimately, insecurity configures the production of evidence about the so-called reservoir of Ebola and leads the hypothesis of a bat origin to gain strength in Guinea. The dissertation chapters foreground the controversies, dissimulation practices, fear, and cynicism that the quest for epidemic origins elicits locally, even as it contributes to imposing a single narrative for disease causality. In so doing, I challenge a social science view that scientific claims become authoritative when the institutions and practices that manufacture them are socially recognised as trustworthy and legitimate, i.e., secure. Instead, insecurity is entangled in the material performances and ethos of préleveurs. Far from only producing scientific evidence for experts, their activity generates clues about Ebola’s origins for many people in Guinea and Africa more generally – with significant consequences for research priorities and prevention policies.
... Sheldon Ungar (1998) Os resultados demonstram que a imprensa levanta o perigo da globalização e do potencial destrutivo do ebola e, ao mesmo tempo, tranquiliza as pessoas diante do perigo potencial, com discursos que levam a crer que o ocidente tem poder de contenção sobre as doenças. Os leitores leigos se sentiram totalmente distantes do risco, chegando a ponto de fazer analogia da ebola com ficção científica no ocidente, com possibilidades de existir apenas na África, lugar que, segundo eles, oferece condições propícias para eclosão e proliferação das doenças. ...
Article
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This work investigated the social construction of ebola in the Brazilian press using the Theory of Social Representations. Data were collected in the Folha de São Paulo, since the virus emergence (1976) until March 2015. We found 291 subjects analyzed by IRAMUTEQ software. The results show lexical worlds organized in speech specialist and speech no specialist. The first translates the scientific explanatory hypotheses about the Ebola virus. Already second points to the dichotomy West versus Africa. The results demonstrate that the crisis of the Ebola renews the themata of social recognition by the negative, the essentialization of the African, radical alterity, cultural hierarchy and the invisibility of the African as protagonist habile to speak of its reality.
... The present research represents, to the best of our knowledge, the first approach in Romania so far aiming at uncovering the media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic during a peak-event period (i.e., the nationwide lockdown in March 2020). Main results show both television and online media's preference towards covering "hot" events that are context-dependent (Aldoory & Grunig, 2012;Pang et al., 2014;Ungar, 1998). The importance of the media in orienting people's opinions and attitudes is crucial in such periods of crisis, as other studies (Abdullah et al., 2020) have already shown, highlighting the fact that the effect of news dissemination about the COVID-19 pandemic can be manifested not only on individuals' health, but also on an economic, behavioral, or psychological level. ...
Article
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In times of crisis, the media play a crucial role in offering people information and updates related to the ongoing events. Thus, the media implicitly shape public opinion on the issues they cover and, as a result, influence public attitudes and behaviors. In this context, this paper aims at analyzing the media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, by means of quantitative content analysis (N=1511) conducted on both television and online news stories released during March 18-31 2020, this study sheds light on the agenda-setting effects of the media and the phenomenon known as intermedia agenda-setting. Main results show that, in spring 2020, both television and online news stories extensively covered COVID-19 topics, focusing on domestic issues such as decisions taken by the authorities in order to manage the pandemic, effects of the virus, and statistics. Furthermore, results show a relatively high intermedia agenda-setting effect within the Romanian media environment. Content published online (either in the form of social media content or online stories) is frequently "borrowed" and cited in both online and television news stories, leading us to the idea that digital media might have become mainstream information sources.
... Secondo Ungar (1998Ungar ( , 2008, le rappresentazioni delle malattie emergenti nei media seguono un modello ricorrente anche dal punto di vista tematico. Nelle prime fasi dell'emergenza, la malattia è inserita in un frame allarmistico, che egli chiama di «mutazione-contagio». Tale frame è basato su una serie di idee di fondo così sintetizzabili: a) siamo minacciati da una serie di nuovi microbi-aggressori, b) essi sono più intelligenti di noi; c) una serie di cambiamenti come la sovrappopolazione, il degrado ambientale e l'uso smodato di antibiotici sono responsabili per il manifestarsi della catastrofe; d) i microbi non conoscono confini; infine, l'ultima proposizione dal sapore apocalittico e) ci attendiamo una nuova pandemia. ...
Chapter
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Il capitolo affronta il tema della comunicazione e della gestione del rischio in occasione dell'emergenza sanitaria determinata dall'insorgenza e dalla diffusione della SARS. In Italia, il tema del rischio associato alla salute ha ottenuto una attenzione progressivamente crescente da parte dei media, delle istituzioni, delle organizzazioni sanitarie e dell’opinione pubblica. Anche in questo ambito è ravvisabile una crescente tendenza a considerare la sicurezza come un valore assoluto e a rimuovere l’aleatorietà e i possibili errori insiti nell’azione umana. La parola d’ordine é “prevenzione” mentre parole come “errori” e “incidenti” vanno bandite dal nostro vocabolario, perché non in linea con i valori della società occidentale avanzata. Questa logica, però, è continuamente sfidata da una parte dalla fallibilità dell’azione degli individui e delle organizzazioni, dall’altra, dall’insorgenza di nuove malattie che si diffondono al ritmo accelerato delle relazioni in tempo di globalizzazione. Nel 2003, una di queste malattie emergenti, la cosiddetta polmonite atipica o Severe Acute Respiratory Sindrome (Sars), ha messo a dura prova la capacità delle organizzazioni sanitarie internazionali e nazionali di controllare e gestire l’epidemia a livello globale. La crisi Sars ci ha fornito così un fertile terreno empirico per studiare le rappresentazioni sociali dei rischi sanitari globali che si formano e consolidano nell’arena pubblica e il sistema di governance messo in essere per affrontare e gestire l’emergenza sanitaria provocata dalla loro diffusione. Attraverso l’analisi degli articoli di un quotidiano nazionale, dei telegiornali della prima rete Rai e dei radiogiornali di Radiouno, abbiamo, in prima istanza, individuato le metafore e le figure retoriche ricorrenti per descrivere il rischio Sars e la loro evoluzione nel tempo; successivamente, abbiamo ricostruito la rappresentazione mediatica della rete di governance per gestire la crisi in Italia.
... Sin embargo, otros autores han destacado la importancia de las imágenes en las informaciones sobre salud, ya sea en prensa escrita (Fundació Vila Casas, 2014;Minervini y Pedrazzini, 2004) o en televisión (Torres, 2006;Fernández, 2013). En epidemias y pandemias anteriores, algunas imágenes han adquirido un estatus emblemático en los noticiarios de televisión, como el traje para materiales peligrosos y las personas enmascaradas en el brote de Ébola de 1995 (Ungar, 1998) y la epidemia de SARS de 2003 (Joye, 2010), donde "el elemento de pánico (global) fue mejor ilustrado con imágenes de gente anónima usando mascarillas quirúrgicas" (Joye, 2010, p.595). Durante la pandemia de gripe porcina en 2009, la placa de Petri y el color rojo que se le aplicaron en las pantallas de información de televisión se usaron "para transmitir alarma y peligro" (Luth, Jardine, y Bubela, 2013, p. 8). ...
Article
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Los medios de comunicación tradicionales están desempeñando en España un papel destacado en la cobertura informativa de la COVID-19, siendo la televisión el medio que más confianza genera y que más audiencia gana. En ese contexto, el estudio de los imaginarios que la televisión genera parecen ahora más relevantes que nunca, sobre todo, los vinculados a la salud. El objetivo de este trabajo es proponer una metodología mixta cualitativa-cuantitativa para el análisis de las imágenes de apoyo utilizadas por los informativos en distintas temáticas relacionadas con la salud. Para ello, se ha ejemplificado el uso de la metodología propuesta en el análisis de un elemento específico del imaginario televisivo asociado a la pandemia de la COVID-19, la imagen del virión del SARS-CoV-2, complementado con entrevistas a los profesionales de los departamentos que han elegido o incluso generado dichas imágenes.
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The Turkish invasion in Cyprus created a watershed moment for the people in the island but also the international community. Following Fileleftheros', a Cypriot newspaper that was in support of Makarios, coverage of the events and the actors associated with them, it is identified a targeted rhetoric and tone towards then US secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. The newspaper’s approach in depicting USA’s foreign policy is mainly targeting Kissinger in contrast to US president as being responsible for the shortcomings and failures of the American negotiations to manage the crisis that jeopardized the security of Cyprus. This paradox is attempted to be analyzed by investigated the media framing of Kissinger in Fileleftheros newspaper. This article identifies the frequency, tone and particular references to both Kissinger and Ford, to test the formulated hypothesis that targeting Kissinger as the sole responsible would alleviate extreme responses towards the USA in a period of ongoing crisis. The findings, retrieved from both content analysis and critical discourse analysis between August 1974 to January 1975, validate the hypothesis formulated that Kissinger was framed as a scapegoat to not generate strong Anti-American sentiments amid the bipolar system and great powers competition.
Book
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The Handbook of Communication and Security provides a comprehensive collection and synthesis of communication scholarship that engages security at multiple levels, including theoretical vs. practical, international vs. domestic, and public vs. private. The handbook includes chapters that leverage communication-based concepts and theories to illuminate and influence contemporary security conditions. Collectively, these chapters foreground and analyze the role of communication in shaping the economic, technological, and cultural contexts of security in the 21st century. This book is ideal for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students and scholars in the numerous subfields of communication and security studies.
Article
"Dread risks" are threats that can have catastrophic consequences. To analyse this issue we use excess mortality and corresponding life years lost as simple measures of the severity of pandemic events. As such, they are more robust than figures from models and testing procedures that usually inform public responses. We analyse data from OECD countries that are already fully available for the whole of 2020. To assess the severity of the pandemic, we compare with historical demographic events since 1880. Results show that reports of high excess mortality during peak periods and local outbreaks should not be taken as representative. Six countries saw a somewhat more increased percentage of life years lost (over 7 percent), nine countries show mild figures (0 to 7 percent), while seven countries had life year gains of up to 7 percent. So, by historical standards, Covid-19 is worse than regular flu, but a far cry from the Spanish Flu, which has become the predominant frame of reference for the current pandemic. Even though the demographic impact is modest, psychological aspects of the pandemic can still lead to transformative futures, as the reactions of East Asian societies to SARS I in 2003 showed.
Chapter
Chapter 2 considers in more detail the growing significance of narrative approaches to health communication on pandemic threats, reflecting on the conceptual bases for this turn in light of perspectives from narrative theory and biopolitical accounts of infectious diseases. Key themes are the folk-tale undercurrents of pandemic narratives that appear in news media and in the advice of experts and therefore also their significance for the individuals who engage with them. A key point is that narrative and its mediations are a primary point of contact for publics coming to know of a rapidly emerging public health crisis. In this respect, we introduce Sarah’s story of how she realized that she was herself possibly at risk of the virus, in part because of stories on the pandemic circulated in media she consumed.
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This report collects the main contributions made by the researchers of the News, networks and users in the Hybrid Media System project, at the Newsnet seminar, which was held in Bilbao on November 10, 2020. The overall objective of this project is to map out an accurate picture of how news content is being created, distributed, commented upon and shared within the current hybrid media system.
Article
Purpose Despite the growing interest in AI, the scientific literature lacks multinational studies that examine how mainstream media depict AI applications. This paper is one of the first empirical studies to explore how French and English-speaking mainstream media portray AI during a pandemic. The purpose of this study is to examine how media define AI and how they frame this technology. Design/methodology/approach The authors selected five media outlets and extracted all news articles that mentioned AI over a period of 30 days. The authors constituted the sample to ensure a mix of global, national and local media newspapers. The authors included Le Temps (Switzerland), Le Monde (France), The Guardian (United Kingdom), Politico Europe (Europe) and the New York Times (USA). The authors used the NexisUni database to collect the news articles. This resulted in a sample of 54 articles, which the authors then refined to 35 articles mentioning at the same AI and COVID-19. They then manually coded to identify media frames about AI. Findings Although no news article provides a definition of AI, most articles highlight two main characteristics: information processing and adaptability. This paper also shows that the coverage of AI in US newspaper is more optimistic than pessimistic. European newspapers offer a more balanced perspective of the risks and benefits associated with the technology, and highlight its use mainly in the context of the COVID-19. Media framing changes according to the evolution of the pandemic. While the USA were not yet heavily affected by the virus, Europe experienced the peak of the crisis. The authors argue that the framing of AI follows that of the pandemic. Research limitations/implications This study is limited in terms of timeframe (30 days) and media outlets (5). It would be useful to extend this sample to verify the results, and also conduct interviews among journalists to understand their motivations and understanding of AI. Originality/value Despite the growing interest in AI, the scientific literature lacks multinational studies that examine how mainstream media depict AI applications in society. This paper is one of the first empirical studies to explore how French and English-speaking mainstream media portray AI during a pandemic. Peer review The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-09-2020-0393
Chapter
This chapter examines panic-buying (PB) as byproduct of pandemics. Panic buying is associated with disasters including pandemics. If and when disasters become more prominent and prevalent, understanding phenomena like PB becomes an important part of disaster communication and disaster management. Panic buying of toilet paper was examined during the international Covid-19 crisis of 2019–2020 in an effort to study and explain the behavior of PB, who panic buyers are, which drivers motivate PB as well as the socio-psychological explanations of panic-buying found in the existing literature. The chapter concludes with some recommendations to reduce PB in the future. This is a snapshot of a behavior intrinsic to disasters of all sorts and should serve as both explicative and proscriptive warnings.
Article
This study adopts a comparative keyword analysis to examine a corpus of news reports (N = 1009) published in Chinese and American newspapers on SARS and COVID-19 outbreaks to uncover the hierarchy of news values and potential differences across time and cultures. The results show that the news values of “Impact”, “Superlativeness”, “Proximity”, and “Eliteness” are often prioritized in both newspapers. For cross-cultural differences, the Chinese newspaper prefers a constructive reporting style through emphasizing “Positivity” in terms of agency, proactive measures, and favorable outcomes in fighting the outbreaks. The American newspaper prioritizes “Proximity” in terms of relevance to its audience. For diachronic changes, the Chinese newspaper has developed a unique theme to construct “Positivity” by calling for the solidarity of the international community. The Chinese newspaper also moves away from prioritizing geographic “Proximity” and government actors in constructing “Eliteness”. The American newspaper, however, changes to cover more government actors. The American newspaper also changes its exclusive economic focus in constructing “Impact” to emphasize the epidemic’s impact on various aspects of people’s lives. This study accounts for how the sociocultural context and the different magnitudes of SARS and COVID-19 outbreaks shape newspaper reports in China and the US.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the communicability framework in rethinking three topics that figure significantly in medical anthropology and adjacent fields – narrative, doctor‐patient interaction, and health communication. It explores why health news is of greater importance to medical anthropology than is generally recognized and suggests why its marginalization limits analytic and ethnographic advances. Dominant communicabilities transform the structural effects of unhealthy health policies into seeming failures of knowledge and communication, thereby co‐producing what Paul Farmer calls "pathologies of power." "Doctor‐patient interaction" similarly forms a particularly visible site where communicative/medical binaries are bridged; it also provides another instance where research has fostered changes in clinical practice. Nevertheless, it bears a paradoxical relationship to medical/communicative binaries, given that it defines clinical, epidemiological, and public health institutions primarily as loci of knowledge, not communication. Mediatization enters deeply into the production of racial inequities. In US health media, projections of idealized health‐consumers seldom mention race explicitly.
Research Proposal
Seven national online experiments, each with 750 participants, began after the first U.S. COVID-19 death on February 29th and continuing through August 2020. The Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model or RISP (Dunwoody & Griffin, 2015) measure if media use, risk perceptions, and trust in government change as news about the virus changes. Preliminary findings from the first two are summarized here but the proposed paper will include comprehensive analyses from all seven.
Article
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Research on media communication of risks has become a reasonably well funded and popular domain for scholars around the world. Although one can find a great deal of collaboration among these scholars within countries, cross-cultural collaborations are far more rare. In this article, an American and a German scholar attempt to bring results from studies in both their countries to bear on some of the more popular questions being asked by risk communication researchers and practitioners. With a few exceptions, studies from the two countries demonstrate highly consonant results, suggesting great similarities between (1) the general social and technological cultures of these two developed countries, (2) the ways in which their scientific and journalistic cultures deal with the concept of risk, and (3) the ways in which risk communication researchers in these two countries conceptualize and operationalize this domain of inquiry. The review concentrates on studies that examine the construction of risk stories by journalists but offers a framework within which to examine story effects as well.
Article
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Occasionally, and especially so under stipulated comnditions, througout historical time and in societies around the world, a substantial number of individuals are gripped by a fear of non-existent threats--or threats that are wildly out of proportion to the objective nature of the threat. Examples include the persecution of witches in Renaissance Europe, the uproar among feminists about the threat to women that propnography poses (i.e., whether porn causes men to rape women), and the threats of drug abuse in the U.S. and Israel in the seventies and eighties (that marijuana use would "lead to" heroin addiction, cause violence and sexual licentiousness, etc.). We examine the causes of these moral panics.
Article
The New York Times and a few other major national news organizations, along with their sources of information, were effective in placing the global environment on the American agenda of problems during the late 1980s. This appears to have been an unplanned outcome, largely the result of a few specific environmental problems with different constituencies all becoming important news stories at about the same time. Each story reinforced the attention given to the others, so that their global linkages and common elements were emphasized. This case illustrates the interplay among national news media, prominent news sources, and extraneous events in shaping national concerns.
Article
This article extends recent work on the public arenas approach to social problems (Hilgartner and Bosk 1988) by examining changes in audience receptiveness to claims-making activities. Scientists’ claims about global warming failed to attract much public attention until the extraordinary heat and drought of the “summer of '88” created a social scare. That is, environmental claims are most likely to be honored—and accelerate demands in the political arena—when they piggyback on dramatic real-world events. The dynamics of this social problem over time reveal that both demand attenuation and issue redirection processes have diminished global warming's standing as a “celebrity” social problem. Social scares hold potential importance for prospective social problems that revolve around new technologies.
Article
The media play an important role in the social construction of risk and safety. In this article, we analyze how reports in a New Orleans newspaper defined the risk and safety associated with a series of four events during the summer of 1988: a drought, low water levels in the Mississippi River, a saltwater intrusion, and toxic pollution in local bodies of water. The newspaper reports defined some of the events as hazards by assessing their negative consequences and, in turn, defined them as specific kinds of hazards by identifying their causes. Specifically, we found that the reports defined the nonlocal consequences of an event as more varied and severe than its local consequences. Further, the reports consistently defined each of the events as natural events rather than attributing their causes to social or technological events or conditions. Our results suggest the importance of news sources, economic and political power, and a preference for monocausal frames in the social construction of news. Our results also suggest the importance of local cultural world views in defining hazards and risks. We use the findings to suggest avenues for future research and theory.
Article
Development of a social scientific study of morality, cutting across various disciplines and methodological approaches, is proposed. Drawing on both quantitative methods associated with content analysis, and the more naturalistic methods of discourse analysis, the authors outline a new methodfor the coding of moral discourse at three levels of analysis: (1) by the sides taken in the dispute, topics introduced, the "voice" of the moralizer, and key words used, (2) by the "stances" moral claims-makers take, which are conceptualized from a dramaturgical perspective, and (3) by the claims-making "appeal" made by moral rhetoric, whether to logic, feeling rules, or other claims. The first level of analysis, now well established, is illustrated by detailed examples from empirical data published elsewhere. The second level of analysis, well advanced in application, is illustrated by briefer selections. The third level of analysis is still in development. Its explanation here is useful because this journal reaches a wide range of social scientists, and the authors welcome suggestions from diverse disciplines in their efforts to develop a reliable method for the analysis of moral discourse.
Article
The analysis reviews time series data for the period 1945 to 1980 on media coverage and corresponding public attention to a set of ten political issues including poverty, racial problems, Watergate, and Vietnam. The study focuses on the early stages of public awareness and the need for a “critical mass” or threshold to move a matter from the status of private concern to a public, political issue. The pattern of evolving public awareness varies dramatically for different types of issues. In some cases, the public appears to have a much steeper “response function” in reacting to real-world cues than the media; in other cases, the media seem to be more responsive. Modeling the growth of attention to public issues with the logistic curve met with modest success. The article concludes with a call for much closer coordination between agenda-setting research and the study of political cognition.
Article
Media discourse and public opinion are treated as two parallel systems of constructing meaning. This paper explores their relationship by analyzing the discourse on nuclear power in four general audience media: television news coverage, newsmagazine accounts, editorial cartoons, and syndicated opinion columns. The analysis traces the careers of different interpretive packages on nuclear power from 1945 to the present. This media discourse, it is argued, is an essential context for understanding the formation of public opinion on nuclear power. More specifically, it helps to account for such survey results as the decline in support for nuclear power before Three Mile Island, a rebound after a burst of media publicity has died out, the gap between general support for nuclear power and support for a plant in one's own community, and the changed relationship of age to support for nuclear power from 1950 to the present.
Article
The author contends that the factors that contributed substantially to the protocols to protect the ozone layer are not likely to generalize to global warming. Instead, extreme events capable of unleashing social scares may be necessary to stimulate significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The article summarizes the sociology of social scares and argues that recent developments pertaining to global warming are best explained by this concept. It then shows that the scientific understanding of global warming has become increasingly uncertain and hence is unlikely to assume the catalytic role it played in ozone depletion. In lieu of this, significant extensions of the “Climate Convention” will probably require future social scares.
Article
This study argues that the generalized fear of the Soviet threat was punctuated by moral panics that provided a signal impetus to the arms race. The growth of the American nuclear arsenal came in three large waves (the Truman. the Eisenhower/Kennedy/McNamara, and the Reagan buildups), the result of panics unleashed by startling and spectacular Soviet challenges to American nuclear hegemony (the Soviet atomic bomb, the Sputnik/Cuban missile crisis, and the window of vulnerability, respectively). The initial panics were instrumental in overcoming the fiscal constraints imposed on the military by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, creating conditions conducive to the ascendency of a military-industrial complex. More specifically, the timing of the panics was determined by authentic surges of fear that in turn provided the political leverage for large-scale nuclear buildups. The direction taken by the panics, however, was determined by the creation and dramatization of an elective affinity between nuclear supremacy and both national security and the sanctity of the American way of life. In contrast with these panics, most efforts to mobilize fear by creating the perception of gaps in the Soviet favor failed.
Article
"As human population and material consumption increase in coming decades, scarcities of natural resources will increase in some regions. Will societies be able to adapt? The present article builds on three key insights derived, in part, from 'new growth theory' in economics. First, ideas are a factor of economic production; second, not only can ideas for new technologies contribute to production, so can ideas for new and reformed institutions; and, third, the generation and dissemination of productive ideas is endogenous, not just to the economic system, but also to the broader social system that includes a society's politics and culture. The article argues, therefore, that to understand the determinants of social adaptation to scarcity, analysts should focus on the society's ability to supply enough ideas, or 'ingenuity.' As scarcity worsens, some poor societies will face a widening 'ingenuity gap' between their need for and their supply of ingenuity. Most importantly, their supply of social ingenuity (in the form of new and reformed institutions) will be vulnerable to stresses generated by the very scarcities the ingenuity is needed to solve. Scarcity often causes intense rivalries among interest groups and elite factions that impede the development and delivery of institutional solutions to resource problems. A society with a serious and chronic ingenuity gap will face declining social well-being and perhaps civil turmoil."
The Plague Year', The NewRepublic
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Environmental Sociology: A Social Constructionist Perspective, London: Routledge. Harvard Working Group on New and Resurgent Diseases 1995 'New and Resur-gent Diseases: The Failure of Attempted Eradication
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Infection: The Global Threat', The New York Review of Books 6
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Horton, R. 1995 'Infection: The Global Threat', The New York Review of Books 6
The Media and the Scare
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Two Nuns Killed by "Liquid Death" Disease in Zaire', The Times
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