From Message Received (GUMG ed. Greg Philo, Longman, 1999)

Risk, Society and Media
(John Eldridge)

We have seen contending groups arguing over definitions, explanations and policies in which the concept of risk has been used for different purposes and by different interest groups. These are expressions of power struggle. It has not simply been a question of whether 'the state' wins out over other interest groups. Sometimes one part of the state (say, the Ministry of Agriculture) alongside an interest group (such as the egg producers), wins out over another (the Department of Health and consumer groups). What a sociology of the media can do is to show how issues come on to the public and political agenda, how the messages are constructed, diffused and received. The question as to which definitions of risk on particular issues win out, and why, is a political one. It can also have unpleasant consequences if the dominant definition turns out to be empirically inaccurate.

Just Another Food Scare? BSE and Public Belief (Jacquie Reilly)

Jacquie Reilly examines audience understanding of BSE / 'Mad Cow Disease' and focuses on how public perception altered with the presentation of new information in the media.