The Role of Media in Crisis Communication

Public health crisis communication largely originates from concerned government health agencies since they are the authorities on the matter. However, the wider and quicker dissemination of crisis communication can only be done with the help of media machinery.

Media companies through their media facilities such as newspapers, radio, and television have the capability to announce the details of product recall and the processes for the public to follow. Media is also an expedient source of the latest updates on these public health risks and crisis outbreaks.

It was from media facilities that the outbreaks were known as much as the product recalls were announced. These media companies facilitated the announcements that consumers and retailers who purchased the contaminated jalapeno peppers and peanut butter should get in touch with their suppliers and/or their local FDA office right away so they can ascertain if their products on hand were, indeed, included in the product recall.

As early as July 23, 2008, USA Today updated the public by reporting that salmonella warnings have shifted from tomato produce to pepper produce (Weise, 2008). The newspaper also carried the warning messages from the CDC.

According to a report from the Associated Press (Bad peanuts found before outbreak, 2009), chopped peanut exports from Peanut Corporation of America were already returned to the US weeks before the salmonella poisoning outbreak because the exports were found to be contaminated. However, the US prevented the re-entry of the chopped peanut exports because the FDA discovered that the products revealed an unidentified “filthy, putrid or decomposed substance, or is otherwise unfit for food.”

In the cases of the most recent salmonella poisoning outbreaks in the US, it was media that largely stemmed the crises.

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Via Read Write Web/nextgov

crisis communication