Shared Vulnerability: The Media and American Perceptions of the Bhopal Disaster

Shared Vulnerability: The Media and American Perceptions of the Bhopal Disaster

Shared Vulnerability: The Media and American Perceptions of the Bhopal Disaster

Shared Vulnerability: The Media and American Perceptions of the Bhopal Disaster

Synopsis

"This book chronicles the American media's coverage of the 1984 chemical spill in Bhopal, India, and its aftermath in the US. It explains how the press reported about Bhopal and examines journalism's subsequent influence on public perceptions about technological safety. . . . It is an excellent addition to university collections in science writing, journalism criticism, and mass media research and should be useful to undergraduates at all levels." Choice

Excerpt

The research outlined in this book is based on two convictions. First, technological hazards are created by human beings and hence can be mitigated by human beings; and second, the mass media have a central role to play in societal discussion of ways to blunt the potential harmful impact of otherwise useful technologies. the tragedy of Bhopal is merely a symptom of a worldwide industrial disease, one which has plagued humanity since the beginnings of the industrial revolution. Bhopal is the latest evolution in the plight of the working poor so eloquently described by Charles Dickens or the statistics Karl Marx unearthed in his research in Britain that led to the writing of Das Kapital. in both cases, individuals--with distinct points of view--expressed horror at what the promise of the industrial revolution had become. Bhopal, too, causes such a gasp of horror, not only because of the lingering death and injury but also, in a deeper sense, because the Bhopal plant and the pesticides it manufactured promised the opposite of what the event has come to represent.

Because of the premises underlying the research, this twopronged study of the media coverage of the Bhopal disaster win interest scholars, students and government officials in a variety of disciplines and roles. Mass communication scholars, who seek to understand how the media portray significant events and to learn what it is that audiences retain from those portrayals, will be interested in the study because it is one of few which analyzes . . .

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