Review: Delivering risk information in a dynamic information environment: Framing and authoritative voice in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and primetime broadcast news media communications during the 2014 Ebola outbreak

Home/Review: Delivering risk information in a dynamic information environment: Framing and authoritative voice in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and primetime broadcast news media communications during the 2014 Ebola outbreak

Review: Delivering risk information in a dynamic information environment: Framing and authoritative voice in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and primetime broadcast news media communications during the 2014 Ebola outbreak

Review: Delivering risk information in a dynamic information environment: Framing and authoritative voice in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and primetime broadcast news media communications during the 2014 Ebola outbreak

This study demonstrated that media frames public health risk communication differently than government and public health experts, which may lead to misinterpreted risks, and offers advice on how to adapt risk communication strategies for consistent message framing.

Framing of health risk messages may be disseminated and interpreted in unpredictable ways; therefore, it is important for government and public health officials to be very clear in their communication with the media and the public. Speaking in one, consistent voice is key for understanding and persuasiveness. Especially during emerging and uncertain outbreaks like COVID-19, government and public health agencies should adapt to the dynamic news environment by recognizing the media’s agenda and addressing the social context in which the outbreak is occurring. By adjusting their communication, public health officials can meet the media’s needs without compromising the health information they are providing. For example, providing media with short-form communication to help meet media’s time restrictions will limit the media’s need for rushed, editorial interpretation. Additionally, adapting information into a narrative improves information visualization and aligns with media’s storytelling function. By mirroring the media’s approach, government and public health agencies may appeal more to both the media and the public, which can positively affect their ability to disseminate critical information.

|2020-05-01T11:30:28-04:00May 1st, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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