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Framing risk: nanotechnologies in the news

Allan, Stuart ORCID:, Anderson, Alison and Petersen, Alan 2010. Framing risk: nanotechnologies in the news. Journal of Risk Research 13 (1) , pp. 29-44. 10.1080/13669870903135847

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The concept of ‘framing’ is being increasingly recognised as a useful means of characterising the social relations of representation shaping the news reporting of science and risk. In theoretical terms, framing is often described as a discursive strategy utilised by journalists to define the nature of a particular event, a complex process with important implications for how certain occurrences are selected as newsworthy, the conventions guiding the ways in which they are reported and the possible consequences for influencing public perceptions. Focusing on the news reporting of nanotechnologies, this paper explores the relative advantages and limitations of ‘framing’. It draws on data from two UK studies, one examining news media production of nanotechnologies and the other examining scientists’ and policy‐makers’ views on the future applications of nanotechnologies. We highlight the key role played by scientists as news sources and hence potentially influential actors in issue definition. We argue that risk researchers need to pay closer attention to the behind‐the‐scenes politics of framing, whereby competing claims‐makers seek to establish their own particular interpretation of the situation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: news production; framing; news sources; scientists; journalists; nanotechnologies
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1366-9877
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:06

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