How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination: The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination : The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages. / Wolf, Hanna Valerie; Perko, Tanja; Thijssen, Peter.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 17, No. 12, 4189, 12.06.2020, p. 1-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Wolf, HV, Perko, T & Thijssen, P 2020, 'How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination: The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 12, 4189, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124189

APA

Wolf, H. V., Perko, T., & Thijssen, P. (2020). How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination: The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(12), 1-19. [4189]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124189

Vancouver

Wolf HV, Perko T, Thijssen P. How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination: The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020 Jun 12;17(12):1-19. 4189. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124189

Author

Wolf, Hanna Valerie ; Perko, Tanja ; Thijssen, Peter. / How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination : The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages. In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020 ; Vol. 17, No. 12. pp. 1-19.

Bibtex - Download

@article{ecbd833fcf6f406da3ff1c3f5d5c7369,
title = "How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination: The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages",
abstract = "Food risk and the safety of foodstuffs in the aftermath of contamination are highly sensitive issues to communicate. Food risks receive extensive attention from the news media, which requires messages to be carefully drafted to minimize harm and avoid unnecessary boycotts. Once a food risk is deemed eliminated, communication efforts must rebuild trust among consumers. The latter is a particularly difficult task after radiological contamination. This study tests whether numerical messages, narrative messages, or messages combining both elements are more effective in persuading the public to consume foodstuffs from Fukushima, a region that continues to battle stigma since the nuclear accident in 2011. We employ a survey-embedded experiment on a sample of the general Belgian population (N = 1085), during which respondents are presented with a mock news article presenting either a (1) numerical, (2) narrative, or (3) a combined message and test their subsequent evaluation of the article. We find that the numerical message leads to significantly higher perceived credibility and message acceptance than both the combined and the narrative message. Furthermore, we find that attitudes towards nuclear energy have a strong independent effect on message acceptance and evaluation, with those respondents who report a more positive stance towards nuclear energy more readily accepting the message. Food risk and safety communication may thus benefit from adopting a more detached, numerical approach for sensitive issues.",
keywords = "Risk communication, Food safety, Environmental communication, Media effects, Nuclear energy, Message effects, Food risk, Radiological contamination",
author = "Wolf, {Hanna Valerie} and Tanja Perko and Peter Thijssen",
note = "Score=10",
year = "2020",
month = "6",
day = "12",
doi = "10.3390/ijerph17124189",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "1--19",
journal = "International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health",
issn = "1660-4601",
publisher = "MDPI",
number = "12",

}

RIS - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - How to communicate food safety after radiological contamination

T2 - The effectiveness of numerical and narrative news messages

AU - Wolf, Hanna Valerie

AU - Perko, Tanja

AU - Thijssen, Peter

N1 - Score=10

PY - 2020/6/12

Y1 - 2020/6/12

N2 - Food risk and the safety of foodstuffs in the aftermath of contamination are highly sensitive issues to communicate. Food risks receive extensive attention from the news media, which requires messages to be carefully drafted to minimize harm and avoid unnecessary boycotts. Once a food risk is deemed eliminated, communication efforts must rebuild trust among consumers. The latter is a particularly difficult task after radiological contamination. This study tests whether numerical messages, narrative messages, or messages combining both elements are more effective in persuading the public to consume foodstuffs from Fukushima, a region that continues to battle stigma since the nuclear accident in 2011. We employ a survey-embedded experiment on a sample of the general Belgian population (N = 1085), during which respondents are presented with a mock news article presenting either a (1) numerical, (2) narrative, or (3) a combined message and test their subsequent evaluation of the article. We find that the numerical message leads to significantly higher perceived credibility and message acceptance than both the combined and the narrative message. Furthermore, we find that attitudes towards nuclear energy have a strong independent effect on message acceptance and evaluation, with those respondents who report a more positive stance towards nuclear energy more readily accepting the message. Food risk and safety communication may thus benefit from adopting a more detached, numerical approach for sensitive issues.

AB - Food risk and the safety of foodstuffs in the aftermath of contamination are highly sensitive issues to communicate. Food risks receive extensive attention from the news media, which requires messages to be carefully drafted to minimize harm and avoid unnecessary boycotts. Once a food risk is deemed eliminated, communication efforts must rebuild trust among consumers. The latter is a particularly difficult task after radiological contamination. This study tests whether numerical messages, narrative messages, or messages combining both elements are more effective in persuading the public to consume foodstuffs from Fukushima, a region that continues to battle stigma since the nuclear accident in 2011. We employ a survey-embedded experiment on a sample of the general Belgian population (N = 1085), during which respondents are presented with a mock news article presenting either a (1) numerical, (2) narrative, or (3) a combined message and test their subsequent evaluation of the article. We find that the numerical message leads to significantly higher perceived credibility and message acceptance than both the combined and the narrative message. Furthermore, we find that attitudes towards nuclear energy have a strong independent effect on message acceptance and evaluation, with those respondents who report a more positive stance towards nuclear energy more readily accepting the message. Food risk and safety communication may thus benefit from adopting a more detached, numerical approach for sensitive issues.

KW - Risk communication

KW - Food safety

KW - Environmental communication

KW - Media effects

KW - Nuclear energy

KW - Message effects

KW - Food risk

KW - Radiological contamination

UR - https://ecm.sckcen.be/OTCS/llisapi.dll/open/39165935

U2 - 10.3390/ijerph17124189

DO - 10.3390/ijerph17124189

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 1

EP - 19

JO - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

JF - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

SN - 1660-4601

IS - 12

M1 - 4189

ER -

ID: 6840828