The effect of the mass media channel on the Belgian risk perception of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident

Bart Vyncke, Catrinel Turcanu

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The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident has the dubious honour of being one of the two worst nuclear accidents in human history, sharing this place with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. Using linear regression analysis, this study investigates whether different media channels are significant predictors of the Belgian risk perception of the Fukushima nuclear accident, controlling for five variables that are proven to be linked to changes in risk perception. A total of 12 different media channels are studied. Additionally, the correlations between the use of these different media channels and both the satisfaction with information and duration of attention paid to the media coverage are calculated. The study uses empirical data from a public opinion survey (N = 1,002), that used the computer-assisted personal interview technique. The data are representative for the Belgian population with respect to six sociodemographic variables. These empirical results can provide risk communicators with information that can help them to select which media to use and which information to provide to the public in case of a nuclear emergency, even beyond the directly affected zone.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Van Gorp, B., Supervisor, External person
  • Perko, Tanja, Supervisor
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
StatePublished - May 2014

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