Category Archives: Risk Communication

Lessons from a food recall health crisis

Sometimes the company at the center of a crisis follows the conventional textbook response, yet external forces drive the situation completely out of control. Two years ago this month, Australia was gripped by a food contamination panic which triggered political … Continue reading

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When issue management becomes war on activists

Conflict between industrial development and conservation has long been a battlefield between environmentalists, big business and big government. But the escalating ”war” against activists is a real threat to democracy and legitimate issue debate. In Australia the Government is angry that … Continue reading

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Who said issues have to be about facts

It’s no secret that issues often revolve around perceptions and feelings rather than objective facts. Look no further than the activist campaign against overwhelming scientific evidence on the effectiveness of childhood vaccination. However, legitimate issue debate gets seriously contaminated when governments … Continue reading

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When does an issue no longer merit debate

Issues by definition are contested matters on which there is genuine disagreement over facts or opinions.  So what happens if there is no legitimate counter-argument? What happens if news media attempts at ‘balance’ simply give credibility to false claims which no longer … Continue reading

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Celebrities blur fact and fiction in issue management

The State of New York has officially banned the controversial practice of “fracking” to exploit deep deposits of shale gas.  However, is it a triumph for objective science or for the power of celebrity? In a case which has implications … Continue reading

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A black eye for the anti-windfarm issue

Allegations about supposed health effects are a common challenge for issue managers.  And there are few health issues with so little scientific evidence and so much emotion as claims that wind turbines cause a whole catalogue of illnesses. But the campaign … Continue reading

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Is the anti-vaccination issue starting to wane?

A prime example of effective issue management is the world-wide campaign opposing childhood vaccination against life-threatening diseases. It’s also an example of an issue achieving a remarkable level of success despite its basic premise being so fundamentally flawed. But some … Continue reading

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