7.1 Who's on First? Framing the Weather as a News Story or Hazardous Event

Friday, 23 June 2017: 1:30 PM
Salon III (InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza)
Tyra L. Brown, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

The mediatization of severe weather events has created an abundance of weather information that is easily and readily accessible to the public through various means of electronic media. Television news and weathercasts are primary sources of severe weather information and have the ability to influence what viewers understand about and how they respond to hazardous events, depending on how that information is framed. Reporters cover weather events differently than weathercasters, often framing the event through human interest and conflict frames. On the other hand, weathercasters tend to focus on conveying scientific information to help viewers better understand potential hazards and risks. Framing as a media effect, takes place through the audio and visual presentation of message content used in the broadcast. While it is understood that media plays a central role in communicating weather, less is known about how the different and sometimes contradictory framing of the event shapes viewers’ perception and response to hazardous conditions.

This presentation reports on ways framing can be used to accurately convey the context of a weather event in a way that keeps viewer’s attention and preserves the credibility of the weathercaster.

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