alexa The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Reemphasizes the Need for Improved Risk Communication and Better Use of Social Media
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Ng KH, Lean ML

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The potential of social media has expanded far beyond the initial function of social communication among a network of friends. It has become an increasingly important tool in risk communication to allow the dissemination of timely and accurate information to global citizens to make more informed choices regarding a particular crisis. The Fukushima nuclear crisis is an example where the potential of social media was not fully tapped. This caused undue stress and distrust of authorities. While the use of social media in this crisis could have altered significantly the level of trust in authorities and others, two additional points should be considered. One point is the use of plain language versus scientific language in order to reach a wider audience. The other is an urgent need to improve public information especially in the event of a nuclear emergency and to enhance educational efforts and action by improving radiological protection communication from regulatory bodies and international agencies. These are points that also play a large role in the use of social media.

This article was published in Health Physics and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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