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ERIC Number: ED309443
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug-11
Pages: 38
Abstractor: N/A
Nuclear Bashing in Chernobyl Coverage: Fact or Fiction?
Friedman, Sharon M.; And Others
Critics of coverage of nuclear power have charged that the media overemphasize the importance of nuclear accidents, encourage public fear, and omit information vital to public understanding of nuclear power and risk. Some also feel there is an anti-nuclear bias among reporters and editors. A study was conducted to determine if such charges were supported in the first two weeks of coverage of the Chernobyl accident. Coverage was analyzed in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post," the "Philadelphia Inquirer," the "Wall Street Journal," the Allentown (Pennsylvania) "Morning Call," and on the evening newscasts of CBS, NBC, and ABC. Findings showed that (1) despite heavy coverage of the accident, no more than 25% of any newspaper's or network's coverage--often far less--was devoted to information on safety records, history of accidents, and current status of nuclear industries in various countries; (2) even though such information would be background information for a breaking news event, not enough was provided to improve the public's level of understanding of nuclear power or put the Chernobyl accident in context; and (3) articles and newscasts balanced use of pro- and anti-nuclear statements, and did not include excessive amounts of fear-inducing and negative information, indicating that these newspapers and networks did not take advantage of the accident to attack or "bash" the nuclear industry or nuclear power in general. (Four tables of data and 20 notes are included.) (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: USSR
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A