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An Analysis of Risk Communication - A Case Study of MERS - CoV in Korea -

  • Crisisonomy
  • Abbr : KRCEM
  • 2016, 12(5), pp.143-155
  • Publisher : Crisis and Emergency Management: Theory and Praxis
  • Research Area : Social Science > Public Policy > Public Policy in general

Hyoungjoon Jeon 1

1단국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the risk communication of the MERS-CoV outbreak in Korea in 2015. The government officials and medical experts were interviewed to investigate the problems and their insights on the case. Two theoretical approaches were adopted to interpret their communication messages, attitudes and behaviors, such as the deficit model and the contextual model. The interviewees revealed that the government sticked to its policy of eliminating the possibility of false positive errors in the beginning of the outbreak, which can be explained by the deficit model. The government initially misperceived that disclosing names of the hospitals where MERS-CoV patients stayed and went through was unnecessary and thus made a delayed decision of uncovering the names due to their slow decision making process dominated by political consideration. Despite the uprising needs of risk communication during the outbreak, the governmental responses to them was not effective. The interviewees suggested that the government should organize a risk communication team on a permanent basis in the future.

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