ERIC Number: ED189648
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
A Content Analysis of News Media Coverage of the Accident at Three Mile Island.
Stephens, Mitchell; Edison, Nadyne G.
A study was conducted for the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island to analyze coverage of the accident by ten news organizations: two wire services, three commercial television networks, and five daily newspapers. Copies of all stories and transcripts of news programs during the first week of the accident were examined from the perspective of a time line of events at the nuclear reactor. The study focused on 20 critical events during that week. College students were trained to code the printed and transcribed news stories, and interviews with all major officials and public relations personnel involved in management of the accident were available to cross check information. Findings indicated that (1) news of events was delayed or unreported, (2) disputes among officials were unreported, (3) news coverage reflected confusion among sources, (4) background or contextual information failed to be included, (5) presence of a gas bubble in the reactor vessel was not overplayed, and (6) coverage relied on secondary sources. (AEA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nuclear Power Plants
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).