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The role of government risk communication in public health emergencies: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

The role of government risk communication in public health emergencies: evidence from the... During the COVID-19 pandemic, government risk communication to the public was among the critical works, as the governments had to fight two enemies at once: the pandemic itself and the infodemic surrounding the COVID-19. Government risk communication could provide the public with prompt and accurate information as well as eliminate fake news, rumors and misinformation, thereby raising the public’s knowledge and risk perception and, thus, shaping their compliance with the government’s advices and directives. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of government risk communication through mass media on the public’s knowledge, risk perception and compliance with safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Design/methodology/approachThe ordinary least square and probit regression models were used for analyzing data collected from citizens living in Vietnam during the COVID-19 social distancing.FindingsThe results of this paper show that government risk communication enhances the public’s knowledge of the COVID-19 and raises their risk perception of the virus. In addition, government risk communication is found to shape the public’s compliance with most safety measures.Practical implicationsThis paper offers practical implications for containing a pandemic (especially in the context that vaccines are unavailable or insufficient) by emphasizing the role of government risk communication.Originality/valueThis paper is among the first attempts that examine the role of government risk communication through mass media in enhancing the public’s knowledge, their risk perception and their compliance with safety measures during a pandemic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

The role of government risk communication in public health emergencies: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-6166
eISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/tg-01-2022-0009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, government risk communication to the public was among the critical works, as the governments had to fight two enemies at once: the pandemic itself and the infodemic surrounding the COVID-19. Government risk communication could provide the public with prompt and accurate information as well as eliminate fake news, rumors and misinformation, thereby raising the public’s knowledge and risk perception and, thus, shaping their compliance with the government’s advices and directives. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of government risk communication through mass media on the public’s knowledge, risk perception and compliance with safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Design/methodology/approachThe ordinary least square and probit regression models were used for analyzing data collected from citizens living in Vietnam during the COVID-19 social distancing.FindingsThe results of this paper show that government risk communication enhances the public’s knowledge of the COVID-19 and raises their risk perception of the virus. In addition, government risk communication is found to shape the public’s compliance with most safety measures.Practical implicationsThis paper offers practical implications for containing a pandemic (especially in the context that vaccines are unavailable or insufficient) by emphasizing the role of government risk communication.Originality/valueThis paper is among the first attempts that examine the role of government risk communication through mass media in enhancing the public’s knowledge, their risk perception and their compliance with safety measures during a pandemic.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 12, 2022

Keywords: Government risk communication; Public understanding; Public risk perception; Public compliance; Preventive measures

References