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Risk and Health Communication in an Evolving Media Environment by H O'Hair

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PRELUDE

Advancing Media Research in Risk and Health Communication Contexts

H. Dan O’Hair

Disease outbreaks, terrorist acts, and natural disasters are obvious examples of contexts in which risk and health communication play a critical role. Broadcast media have found risk and health crisis events to be particularly seductive as stories that fascinate their audiences. Moreover, with digital media evolving at such a rapid rate, many audience members have taken on the role of newsmaker or reporter (Kim, Brossard, Scheufele, & Xenos, 2016)—we are not entirely certain to what effect. Digital media has proven to serve many useful functions such as operating as a conduit for warnings to the public and acting as a gauge for how messages are received ...

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