Research on media content and media framing has pointed to the possibility that media can change the original message on relevant and often controversial topics such as energy technology developments by intensifying, weakening and/or filtering the information. As such, media are not just neutral intermediaries of information: they modify the information in the process, and this might influence the recipients of their messages.
Empirical social research on fusion-related media analysis has been aimed at :
- Gaining more insight into the public understanding of fusion technologies through studying the media frames of these nuclear technologies in both classic news media, such as newspapers in selected countries, and social media.
- Developing ‘communication tools’ which are of practical use, in order to contribute to the quality of the public debate on nuclear fusion technologies.
On-going research activities in this area include the Frame-analysis of newspaper content. The project starts with an inductive frame analysis, in which a qualitative interpretive form of content analysis is used to reconstruct a number of figuratively used frames and counter-frames in the news media that are used to give meaning to ‘fusion technologies’. A period of 15 years (2000-2014) will be taken into account. This gives the researchers the opportunity to look for ‘frame attention cycles’ (Miller & Riechert, 2001), that is, the sequence of different frames.
One of the general objectives of WPSES in this period concentrates in gaining more insight into the public understanding of fusion technologies through studying the media frames of these nuclear technologies in both classic news media, such as newspapers in selected countries, and social media.