- 保健物理 (ISSN:03676110)
- vol.49, no.2, pp.68-78, 2014
In general, the press is considered to have amplified the level of public's anxiety and perception of risk. In the present study, we analyzed newspaper article headlines and Internet contents that were released from March 11, 2011 to January 31, 2012 using text mining techniques. The aim is to reveal the particular characteristics of the information propagated regarding the Fukushima NPP Accident. The article headlines of the newspapers which had a largest circulation were chosen for analysis, and contents of Internet media were chosen based on the number of times they were linked or retweeted. According to our text mining analysis, newspapers frequently reported the “measurement, investigation and examination” of radiation/radioactive materials caused by the Fukushima Accident, and this information might be spread selectively via the social media. On the other hand, the words related to health effects of radiation exposure (i. e., cancer, hereditary effects) were rare in newspaper headlines. Instead, words like “anxiety” and “safe” were often used to convey the degree of health effects. Particularly in March of 2011, the concept of “danger” was used frequently in newspaper headlines. These indirect characterizations of the situation may have contributed more or less to the misunderstanding of the health effects and to the enhanced perception of risk felt by the public. In conclusion, there were found no evidence to suggest that newspapers or Internet media users released sensational information that increased the health anxiety of readers throughout the period of analysis.