Certainty and Uncertainty in Framing the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Colorado News Media (Article, 2015) [WorldCat.org]
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Certainty and Uncertainty in Framing the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Colorado News Media
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Certainty and Uncertainty in Framing the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Colorado News Media

Author: Benjamin D Blair; Christopher M Weible; Tanya Heikkila; Larkin McCormack; et al
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, v6 n3 (September 2015): 290-307
Summary:
Oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing is an industrial activity that can impose risks to some communities and benefits to others. How policymakers permit, regulate and monitor hydraulic fracturing can be influenced by differing perceptions of the risks and benefits. The media can play a critical role in portraying these perceptions. This article examines how the news media covers different risks and  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Benjamin D Blair; Christopher M Weible; Tanya Heikkila; Larkin McCormack; et al
ISSN:1944-4079
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5976832527
Awards:
Other Titles: Certainty and Uncertainty in Framing the Risks and Benefits
Responsibility: Blair et al

Abstract:

Oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing is an industrial activity that can impose risks to some communities and benefits to others. How policymakers permit, regulate and monitor hydraulic fracturing can be influenced by differing perceptions of the risks and benefits. The media can play a critical role in portraying these perceptions. This article examines how the news media covers different risks and benefits of hydraulic fracturing, which actors are associated with those risks and benefits, and how actors use certainty and uncertainty with risks and benefits. To explore these questions, we coded 198 articles from three Colorado newspapers. The analysis shows differences by newspaper in the coverage of the risks and benefits, particularly the economic and public health themes. The results also show that industry representatives argue for the benefits and safety of hydraulic fracturing with certainty; environmental groups highlight the risks of hydraulic fracturing with similar levels of certainty and uncertainty; and the general public expresses both the benefits and risks, but with greater uncertainty. The results illuminate how people may perceive hydraulic fracturing differently depending on the news media sources and how different actors may use certainty and uncertainty as a strategy to influence the policy process.

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