Oh, EVOKE. One of the things I don't like about EVOKE is its tendencies to throw out links and making us figure out the rest. It just bugs me for some reason. Okay, well enough with my mini-rant. I suppose I'll make it easier for other people trying to wrap up their EVOKEing. So without any hesitation, Nieman's Guide to Covering Pandemic Flu. However, I'll only do the first three, cause you have to do some work.
1) With so much information, conflict within the scientific community, and several studies with numerous contradictions, it's very hard to determine what to believe. Sure, there can be many perspectives to a pandemic, but there should be a clear and concise answer when it comes to pandemics. Information should be monitored and regulated to avoid confusing or panicking people. The three uses of information in an outbreak are:
i) Scientists, to advance the science.
ii) For public health workers, who base their work on the science,
iii) For public health communicators, who need the information to broadcast proper information.
So public service announcements must be cautious and cannot be sensational. The public response to a pandemic can provoke large amounts of damage. So careful planning must be taken.
2) In this one, "Risk = Hazard + Outrage". They explain that a risk could possibly harm you, therefore there is a hazard. Also, the culture half of the population will most likely react to risk next to the scientific population, therefore causing outrage. Therefore, there can only be a certain amount of risk. Scientists looks more at the "hazard" portion of risk rather than the "outrage" portion of it. The general public looks mostly at the "Outrage" and ignores the "Hazard" or potential risk.
What I take from this is that we must because more objective and focus more on the hazard more than the outrage. However, it is impossible to make the complete switch, so we must accommodate our messages for the general public more than anyone else, as they are more susceptible to panic.
The way to do this is to not strictly speak in their terms, seeing as that will scare them. Nor should you speak strictly in scientific terms. There needs to be a marriage between Hazard and Outrage. So, you can speak scientific terms (which most would understand) and then ask people what they think about it. A careful balance will help solve that problem. It also cannot be too long, as people tend to have short attention spans.
3) There are five challenges when it comes to properly covering news:
i) Most scientists want news media and journalists to use their [the scientists'] sources. They believe that the necessary time and energy needed to fund studies is necessary, and this is clearly an impossible expectation.
ii) The point of the news is not confined to educating the public. Three months of updates and education about the next flu virus would be nice, but it's not realistically possible.
iii) You can't just give a "By-the-way" piece of information, since people don't know what to do with that information. How does a new piece of information change ones behavior if they're isn't any instruction on how to use it to ones advantage?
iv) Not many political leaders know how to be transparent. They aren't really used to it in their line of work, but it's essential to help alleviate the situation. Prime ministers, Presidents, and their supporting parts need to share.
v) Many experts have different views, so the broadcasting can hardly be objective. An example of this challenge.is the use of antivirals as "treatment". Many were for this point, but there were many objected this point.