H1N1: A Media or Social Responsibility?

Beginning in April 2009, Swine Flu became a prevalent current event worldwide. Two months later, the Swine Flu, better known as H1N1 became a pandemic issued by the WHO. Since the summer, the H1N1 has become a global concern. The media plays a role in how serious this issue is. H1N1 is a headline on any news channel, newspaper, or online. Due to the media reporting various news angles on Swine flu, people started panicking around the world asking questions such as How do I avoid getting Swine Flu?, what are the symptoms?, and how is the government going to resolve the epidemic? Thus, the media is clearly “telling people” what to think about on a daily basis (Swine Flu) which defines the agenda setting theory. Swine Flu/ H1N1 is an example of an issue related to communication agenda setting theory in many ways. Agenda Setting Theory is defined as the media telling people what to think about. The Swine Flu/H1N1 has dominated the news on a global level since the summer. As a result, whatever headline is on the morning/evening news, or online, people are influenced on how to think about the issue as well. The main issue of the Swine Flu/H1N1 is the shortage of H1N1 vaccinations. Who receives the vaccinations first? children? Hospital employees and patients? People will begin to shape their opinions based on what the media says, which is a primary example of the Agenda Setting Theory. We are all influenced by the media one way or another on a daily basis. Furthermore, who’s responsiblity is it to explain or tell us what to think about, especially when our health is at stake? Well, according to the agenda setting theory, the media tells us what to think about.

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One Response to “H1N1: A Media or Social Responsibility?”

  1. Andrews Says:

    Sadly, media tends to be the only way people get their information. Not as many as desired go to the actually source.

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