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[학술저널]

  • 학술저널

최충익 배숙경 김철민

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Purpose – This article tackles risk communication issues and aims to address the characteristics of MERS risk information distribution in South Korea, and secondly to examine the communicative behavior of the public health authority in terms of the quality of communication strategies. Thirdly, the study attempts to figure out the risk communication to cope with MERS through the applications of SMCRE model in chronological order. We employ the social amplification of risk framework for analyzing the emergent public response as one of the main approaches. Research Design, Data and Methodology – The main framework of this study is theoretically based on the social amplification of risk, which describes signals about risk transmitted and processed by individuals and social groups. The model also reflects the interactions between social groups and institutes about disaster-related risk issues, which are potential amplifiers or attenuators of communication signals. S-M-C-R-E Model is methodologically employed to examine the social amplification for MERS risk information in each period, which we defined operationally. The proposed methodology allows the assessment of effectiveness and ineffectiveness on risk communication to be conceptualized as a countermeasure against disasters. The paper focuses on exploring how social risk amplification can be applied and organized in each stage. Results – The SMCRE model describes the exchange of risk information and is also applied to all forms of communication between stakeholders including public health authority, local government and media. Each factor of risk communication includes source, message, channel, receiver and effect. The results support that the effective risk communication involves not only the improved reliability of public health authority as a key factor of risk communication, but also a close cooperation and good collaboration with local governments. It does not seem to be possible that the government-initiated risk communication based on controllability and management cope effectively with infectious disease in early stage. The results of this study imply that the shared risks between local, regional and national authorities can enhance risk communication system. Conclusions – The study supports that the disparities in how disaster-related risk information is interpreted and coded, have made effective risk communication and public sense-making impeded. Our findings support a more communicative discussion about the role of risk information sharing between governments for the improvement of emergency management and underline the importance of social elements in the risk communication, such as relationship and trust building. Findings suggest that trust building between stakeholders could be added to help explain the processes of social amplification and attenuation of risk. It would be recommended that the continuous risk communication with all the involved stakeholders will be able to help national health promotion policy to be improved regarding emergency management. Furthermore, risk communication has to be a scientific approach for the communication pertaining to potentially sensitive or controversial situations with public concerns and low public trust.

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