Media, Risk, and Absence of Blame for “Acts of God”: Attenuation of the European Volcanic Ash Cloud of 2010

Burgess, Adam (2012) Media, Risk, and Absence of Blame for “Acts of God”: Attenuation of the European Volcanic Ash Cloud of 2010. Risk Analysis, 32 (10). pp. 1693-1702. ISSN 0272-4332. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01803.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01803.x

Abstract

This article analyzes the character, extent, and patterns of media coverage of the 2010 volcanic ash cloud, comparing it with coverage of other major natural hazards, such as Deepwater Horizon. It does so drawing upon sociological themes and concludes that the ash cloud was reported largely in its own terms rather than being amplified as a wider, uncertain threat. As well as the absence of major incident and casualties two interrelated factors are highlighted to explain this result. Emphasizing the importance of hazard duration, the unexpected arrival and short-lived character of the ash cloud was one important factor that limited the potential for sustained media amplification. More broadly, this was an “act of God” with no clear responsible agents. This preliminary study suggests that contemporary media risk narrative requires a focus for institutional blame attribution, and without a plausible candidate amplification may not acquire momentum.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Amplification; ash cloud; blame; media
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Mathematics Statistics and Actuarial Science > Applied Mathematics
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 13:34 UTC
Last Modified: 07 May 2014 14:54 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/34392 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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