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News coverage of controversial emerging technologies: Evidence for the issue attention cycle in print and online media

  • Ashley A. Anderson (a1), Dominique Brossard (a2) and Dietram A. Scheufele (a3)


This study analyzes the issue attention cycle for print and online media coverage of a scientific publication examining the deaths of Chinese factory workers due to lung damage from chronic exposure to nanoparticles. The results of the nanoparticle study, published in 2009, embody news values that would make the study a prime candidate for press coverage, namely, novelty, negativity, controversy, and potential widespread impact. Nevertheless, mentions of the event in traditional English-language print media were nearly nonexistent. Online media, on the other hand, gave the story greater coverage. This case study exemplifies why online media may not be bound to the same issue attention cycle that print media are for controversial scientific events.



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News coverage of controversial emerging technologies: Evidence for the issue attention cycle in print and online media

  • Ashley A. Anderson (a1), Dominique Brossard (a2) and Dietram A. Scheufele (a3)


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