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Authors

  1. Rowe, Sylvia MA
  2. Alexander, Nick BA

Abstract

In a number of recent food safety incidents, there appears to be a serious disconnect between what risk communicators express and what consumers understand-at least judging by published consumer reaction to the events. Something does not seem to be getting through to the public as intended. The article explores and analyzes this disconnect, through news media reports, reader/viewer blogs, and consumer surveys. Traditionally, risk communicators have blamed consumer confusion on risk communication techniques and have worked hard on developing and disseminating rules for good risk communication-it is suggested here that the problem may be more basic, in ways that make some of those rules ineffective. The article recommends possible modifications to traditional risk communication to take better account of both the changing media landscape and target audiences.