elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Sunday, October 10, 2004
how sophisticated is media manipulation?
or: spin doctors eat your brain
from the book description for Risk, Media and Stigma: Understanding Public Challenges to Modern Science and Technology..."For all the benefits of modern technology, there is often great public suspicion of, and aversion to, innovations. Amplified by the huge power of the media, public concern about health and ecological risks can grow into what is now recognized as a new and very significant social phenomenon: the stigmatization of new developments. The economic impact and social consequences can be enormous. This volume presents an examination of how and why stigmatization occurs and what the appropriate responses to it are. Stigma can attach to places, such as transport routes for nuclear waste; to products, such as contaminated food; and to technologies or even whole industries. More theoretical contributions look at the parts played by government and business, and the crucial role of the media in forming public attitudes. Stigma is not always misplaced and the volume discusses the challenges involved in managing it, and in reducing the vulnerability of important products, industries and institutions while providing the public with the information they need about risks." [emphasis added]Stigma is not always misplaced. You like that? Cool, huh? Yeah, and in those cases, how do we, as modern media miracle movers, spin these real risks so they seem less scary than, oh say, having your brain rot from Mad Cow Disease or your kids melt down into puddles of wrongly recombined DNA because you live next to Rocky Flats or Love Canal or ThreeMile Island or the still burning nuclear fires burried under the Chernobyl "sarcaphagous"? It's all here, folks. With high-priced academic consultants from places like Wharton speaking in a language of impressive euphemistic buzzcode that makes it all sound, well, quite respectable.
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at a major industry conference,
chris locke once again captures the real story.