Media's role and influence on public perceptions in the social construction of risks


When it comes to the perception and/or the social construction of risks, sociologists usually identify mass media as a central vehicle for spreading information about risks to the lay public (Kitzinger, 1999; Lupton, 2006). In addition to this, journalists are often accused of sensationalism and of exaggerating risk, which can lead to mass hysteria, distortion of reality, and "the culture of fear" (Furedi, 2002).

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