Risk communication and risk perception : the case of nuclear power public debate in Lithuania
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the risk communication of organizations and risk understanding, or risk perception, of the public at large. The theoretical analysis generates the methodological model of risk communication and risk perception. This framework provides the ground for the empirical study focusing on nuclear power debate in Lithuania with the purpose of investigating the overall risk communication of Lithuanian organizations in relation to nuclear power issues, as well as citizens’ perceptions about the technology. The empirical investigation is based on a content analysis of qualitative data concerning risk communication of the target organizations, as well as secondary data analysis of a quantitative data set related to risk perceptions of the public. The results show that the present study is consistent with other research claiming that risk communication should be guided by the risk perceptions of the public at large. Communication about risks should be a continuous dialogue between risk professionals and the public. Moreover, it should be based on the concerns of the target audience and tailored according to the needs of various public groups. While communicating about risks, organizations should also keep in mind the importance of mutual trust. ...
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