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Press media reporting effects on risk perceptions and attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) food

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  • Vilella-Vila, Marta
  • Costa-Font, Joan

Abstract

Little is known about the role and mechanisms through which the press media reporting influences attitudes and risk perceptions. Whilst some approaches stress the prevalent idea that risks are partly the creation or amplification of the media, other scholars find that the media plays a rather neutral role as a conveyor only, which calls for further empirical exploration, especially in areas where consumers have limited knowledge. This paper examines both quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence to scrutinize whether the press media coverage and reporting had some effect on the change in attitudes towards and risk perceptions of new genetically modified (GM) foods between 1999 and 2004 in Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). Results suggest that differences in media reporting along with attitudes towards journalism correlate with attitudes and risk perception to GM food whilst trust does not appear to exert any significant effect. This result reinforces the hypothesis of a media bias in newly created technology risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Vilella-Vila, Marta & Costa-Font, Joan, 2008. "Press media reporting effects on risk perceptions and attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) food," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 2095-2106, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:2095-2106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Verbeke, Wim & Ward, Ronald W., 2001. "A fresh meat almost ideal demand system incorporating negative TV press and advertising impact," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 25(2-3), September.
    2. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. S.S. Vickner, 2004. "Media Coverage of Biotech Foods and Influence on Consumer Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1238-1246.
    4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jennifer Beverly & Peter Bothwell, 2011. "Wildfire evacuations in Canada 1980–2007," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 59(1), pages 571-596, October.
    2. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2016. "Special interests and the media: Theory and an application to climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 91-108.
    3. Touza, Julia & Pérez-Alonso, Alicia & Chas-Amil, María L. & Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina, 2014. "Explaining the rank order of invasive plants by stakeholder groups," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 330-341.

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