Risk Communication and the Role of Media

CARISMAND research on “Risk communication and the role of the media in risk communication” is led by the “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (MVNIA) undertaking Work Package 8.  MVNIA Team has already delivered  their first report which provides a multi-disciplinary overview of existing knowledge on cultural factors that shape and influence citizens’ risk perceptions, emotions, and risk behavior in the context of man-made, natural, and technical disasters.

The aim of their study was to explore to what extent the effect of culturally-informed risk perceptions are known and taken up by disaster managers in their risk communication, and how – in turn – their own cultures (i.e. cultural aspects within disaster management units) influence the effectiveness of disaster preparedness, response and recovery. The report also explores cultural dimensions and cultural variables that are, or can be, used for capacity building, defining, and enhancing the specific cultural ties between disaster managers and disaster victims.

MVNIA Team has identified that most important cultural features of the 21st century risk society that communication strategies during risk and crisis situations should take into account include the lack of trust in established authority (that especially youth in urban environments seem to share in many parts of the globe), the way cultures of disaster become cultures of resilience based on coping strategies displayed by target population through participation, grass-root initiatives, family self-help, or the fact that cultural frames we share encourage a fictional presence of crisis and disaster in our everyday lives through the entertainment industry etc.

It was concluded that there is a considerable interplay between the culture of disaster managers, the internal culture of organizations, and the culture of the target groups.

This and other interesting outcomes of the WP 8 Team’s research are to be presented in the upcoming Ciztizen Summits in Rome and Frankfurt.

At the current stage of their work, the MVNIA Team is focused on the role of the media in risk communication. Quite a lot of information is already collected and focus is placed on a particular case from the recent history of Romania.

Stay tuned for more information from the CARISMAND work development under Work Package 8 “Risk communication and the role of the media in risk communication”.

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