Media frame impact on people’s understandings of wildfires. A survey on responsibility switching after media exposure

Por Pau Costa Foundation el

Session: Fire response

Presenter: Enric Castelló i Marta Montagut (Asterisc Research Group, Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

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Research carried out by ASTERISC researchers can be defined as an approximation to different areas through qualitative methodologies of communicative evaluation that place the audience as the main feature of communication and information processes; and methodological qualitative approaches that emphasize innovation and transversality.The two main research lines are the following: a) communication in risk society and b) media and cultural studies


ABSTRACT: This research is an on-going project about how we socially construct a sense-making of the wildfires, their prevention and their extinction. In this presentation we will introduce preliminary results in which we explored how environmental activist organizations counteracted media frames appearing in two mainstream newspapers in Catalonia (Castelló & Montagut, 2018)⁠. Taking a qualitative narrative approach, we identified up to five major frames, and a sixth emerging more rooted in what authors identified a “resilient discourse” (González-Hidalgo, Otero, & Kallis, 2014).⁠ In this stage of the research, we are turning our focus on people’s perceptions of these frames. Therefore we are exposing them to a sample of students to see whether they switch their understandings about wood fires. We are surveying the students before and after exposing the media frames (through a video and news pieces) and analyzing differences between both moments. At the time of writing the abstract we started the surveying process which is designed to detect whether preliminary perception are more focused on “individual responsibility” and after-exposition perceptions put an accent on “collective responsibility” and the need of policy intervention. In the conference we will be able to expose our first results which can give clues to see whether the hypothesis of a “responsibility switching” after media exposure has some ground.

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