Communication with media in nuclear or radiological emergencies: general and practical recommendations for improvement

Tanja Perko, Yevgeniya Tomkiv, Iztok Prezelj, Marie Claire Cantone, Eduardo Gallego, Deborah Oughton

    Research outputpeer-review


    Communication with mass media during and after a nuclear emergency presents both a challenge and an opportunity for emergency management. The challenge lies with the different motivations and types of process applied by mass media and emergency management; the opportunity arises from the power of mass media to reach out to an audience with information important for compliance with protective actions. This article summarises recommendations for improved media communication by nuclear emergency management professionals. Recommendations address both the traditional and new media, and are the result of empirical and qualitative research conducted in the context of the FP7 PREPARE project, including: (i) a media content analysis of newspapers articles reporting about Fukushima (N = 1340); (ii) a content analysis of tweets about Fukushima (N = 914); and (iii) a qualitative approach – round table discussions with stakeholders (N>100) involved in communication about nuclear emergencies. Results show that although challenging, nuclear emergency communication can be improved by using mass media and developing skills, training and resources during the preparedness phase of a nuclear emergency cycle. Some general recommendations and practical advice for communication with media is given.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-169
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

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