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Risk Communication Training for Journalists Under Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Dr . Margaret Karembu (PhD) Director, ISAAA Afri Center m.karembu@cgiar.org ; http :// www.isaaa.org/kc 13 th - 14 th December 2011. Risk Communication. Biosafety.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
Risk Communication

Training for Journalists

Under

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

Dr. Margaret Karembu (PhD)

Director, ISAAA AfriCenter

m.karembu@cgiar.org; http://www.isaaa.org/kc

13th - 14thDecember 2011

biosafety
Biosafety

…the avoidance of risk to human health and safety to the conservation of the environment, as a result of the use for research and commerce of genetically modified organisms (CBD, Cartagena Protocol)

slide4
Background and Rationale for Risk Communication in Modern Biotechnology

A component of Risk Analysis:(re: Codex Alimentarius Commission 2003)Risk AssessmentRisk ManagementRisk Communication

slide6
Risk = hazard+ outrage
  • = potential for harm (e.g. mortality and morbidity statistics) + perception of potential harm
  • = facts + feelings
  • = REAL OR PERCEIVED
slide7
Biotechnology has Generated a Network of Opinions

Miracle or

Monster?

and…varied perceptions on risks and benefits

slide8
..and then mass media sensations thro

fantasies, myths, fairy tales

Are you eating

science’s mistakes??

  • Creating:
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Outrage
  • Mistrust
leading to communication difficulties
Selective listening/reading

Hearing things not said

Emphasizing the negative

Misinterpretations

Feelings overrule facts

Leading to: Communication Difficulties

We cannotnot communicate!

where do majority stakeholders get information on biotech
Ranked in importance (in East Africa)

Mass media – electronic & print (radio highly effective)

Special interest groups – NGOs, industry

Special media – brochures, newsletters

Experts?

Websites?

Where do Majority Stakeholders get information on biotech?

Seeking

biotech information

from experts

is limited

  • Main Challenge: Lack of Trust and Confidence
slide11
What is Risk Communication?

“A science-based approach for communicating effectively in:

  • –High concern;
  • –Low trust;
  • –Sensitive; or
  • –Controversial situations.”

(ReF: V. Covello, Center for Risk Communication)

slide12
What is so special about high risk/stress situations?

When people are stressed, their perceptions and decisions are influenced by a wide range of factors, knowledge of hazard often being the least important (worth less than 5%)

slide13
Role of Risk Communication
  • To reduce the outrage and stress factors in risk perception

Ultimately, to facilitate informed decision-making by:

Policy-makers; opinion leaders; investors; Regulators; Farmers; Consumers etc.

slide14
Goals of Risk Communication Helps develop messages that are:

1.Believable – Based on Trust Determination

2. Convincing – Based on Risk Perception Theory

3. Clear and concise – Based on Mental Noise Theory

4. Positive – Based on Negative Dominance Theory

Source: Dr. V. Covello, Center for Risk Communication

slide15
Message: Being Believable

Trust Determination Theory

  • People who are upset are often distrustful
  • When people think they may lose something, their acceptance of a message is based on trust and credibility
what matters most in building trust and credibility in low trust and or high concern situations
What matters most in building Trust and Credibility in low trust and/or high concern situations?

:

Dedication and Commitment

15-20%:

50%: Empathy

and Caring

15-20% Honesty +

Openness

15-20%:

Expertise + Competence

Note: People want to know that you care before they care what you know!

Source: Dr. V. Covello, Center for Risk Communication

slide17
Message: Being Convincing The Risk Perception Theory
  • Many factors affect perception of risk, including:
        • Worry
        • Concern
        • Fear
        • Anxiety
  • People who areupset have perceptions of risk very different from scientific experts
slide18
Message: Being Clear and Concise The Mental Noise Theory
  • People who are upset have difficulty hearing and processinginformation
  • In the presence of a perceived threat, there is limited attentionto information and limited ability to process information

Note: In science communication

Avoid: A+B+C = D

Start with solution: D = A+B+C

slide20
Message: Being Positive Negative Dominance Theory

When people are upset…

  • Negative information carries more weight than positive information
  • People tend to think negatively
slide21
Overcoming Negative Information

Avoid words like

  • No
  • Can’t
  • Don’t
  • Never
  • Nothing
  • None
  • CCO principle - Compassion, Conviction, Optimism
slide23
Steps of GM Safety

Balanced perspective

Accepts safety

F

Endorse safety

F

Experts

Shows safety

F

Experience

Regulations

Ensures safety

F

Science

F

Assures safety

biotech story angles examples from the wema project
Impacts: Economic, Ecological, Cultural, Health, Trade, Food Security, etc

Consumers: How they respond, if they are against- find out why and cross check every claim

Governance: The Biosafety law, regulations, Biotech policies, etc. Are they facilitative or prohibitive-why?

Status: The current status of the GM technology – global, regional, national, counties?

Biotech Story angles…examples from the WEMA project
slide25
The ISAAA Network Centers

Thank you!

AmeriCenter

SEAsiaCenter

AmeriCenter, Cornell University, 417 Bradfield Hall, Ithaca NY 14852, USA

India Office

AfriCenter

SEAsiaCenter, c/o IRRI, MCPO Box 3127, 1271 Makati City, The Philippines

AfriCenter, c/o CIP,

P.O. Box 70 00605, Nairobi, Kenya

For more information, contact the SAAA Center near you…

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