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Testing Language: Media Language Influence on Public Attitudes about River Management

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristan Cockerill Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Everyday we make decisions on diverse topics using information from a wide variety of sources. This project builds on existing research about how people internalize information they skim from newspapers and the influence this has on their attitudes about policy concerns. Specifically, this research asked how readers assimilate information about issues with which they are unfamiliar, such as those with strong scientific components, like natural resource management. This experiment tested how manipulating a local news article about the ecological impacts of flooding influenced reader responses concerning river management decisions. The findings show that variations in tone and language significantly impact public attitudes about relevant policy actions. Additionally, article language and tone affect reader opinion regarding how much scientists and experts “know” about flooding impacts.

Additional Information

Cockerill, K. 2003. Testing Language: Media Language Influence on Public Attitudes about River Management. Applied Environmental Education and Communication 2(1): 23-37. (Jan 2003) Published by Taylor & Francis (ISSN: 1533-0389).
Language: English
Date: 2003