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ERIC Number: ED246423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Local Coverage of Three Mile Island during 1981-82.
Friedman, Sharon M.
Local newspaper coverage of the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant accident was examined in a study to determine what changes, if any, were made by local media and what lessons they had learned from it. Data were collected through interviews with 21 media representatives. TMI coverage in the six newspapers was examined using each newspaper's clipping files for 1981-82. Last, to get a different view of the newspapers' performance, people who had served as news sources for the local media during this time were interviewed. Findings showed that the number of articles on TMI printed by the six newspapers increased more than 10-fold in 1981-82, compared to a two-year period before the accident. Coverage focused primarily on the clean up of the damaged reactor in 1981, but shifted to concerns over restarting the undamaged reactor in 1982. Four newspapers had established parttime TMI beats, with reporters indicating that they spent more time covering TMI after than before the accident. However, few reporters had any or had sought any technical training to help them better cover the complexities of the nuclear plant. Similar to coverage before the accident, there was very little interpretive, explanatory, or investigative reporting done during 1981-82. The prime lesson learned by the newspapers was to pay attention to nuclear plant problems and report about them in detail, generally through straight news reporting. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journalism Research; News Reporters; Three Mile Island
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).