Risk and News

The number of impactful news stories to which people are exposed influences their perceptions of risk. The rise of social media and the instantaneous transmission in multiple formats (especially by audiovisual means) of news stories on terrorism, health crises, climate emergencies, and the rise of the extreme right fit into the paradigm of the risk society theorized by German sociologist Ulrich Beck. Most especially, the emergence of newer risks means that the decisions faced by humanity involve novel problems and hazards that contradict the institutional language of control.

Globalization contributes to a growing complexity and interdependence of both local and global interactions, which, in turn, increases the probability of unforeseeable crises such as that caused by COVID-19. A 2002 book by David Altheide that contextualizes the ...

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