No online information outbreak

A quantitative content analysis of the CDC and USDA websites for available information on zoonotic disease

Keywords: online communication, risk communication, prepared response

Abstract

Zoonotic diseases are a significant threat to human and animal health with the effects of a widespread epidemic impacting agricultural producers and consumers alike. Online information sources have the opportunity to widely distribute information, but, with a topic as complex as zoonotic disease, information sharing should be managed carefully. Risk communication and prepared responses for zoonotic disease can help communicate messages effectively. This study looked at how two federal websites, CDC and USDA, were communicating about zoonotic disease. The quantitative content analysis methodology was guided by the research objectives of 1) determine availability of information related to zoonotic disease, 2) describe the zoonotic diseases, impacts, and messages 3) determine the use of prepared responses in articles related to zoonotic disease, and 4) determine connectivity with other online resources on zoonotic disease. Results indicate information is difficult to find on both websites, and there is a lack of connectivity with other online resources. Prepared responses were used to varying degrees. Implications and recommendations from this work are that agricultural communicators and those with influence over federal communication on zoonotic disease should actively integrate prepared responses in communication and seek opportunities to connect to a larger network of those working in zoonotic disease.  

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Avidar, R., Ariel, Y., Malka, V., & Levy, E. C. (2015). Smartphones, publics, and OPR: Do publics want to engage? Public Relations Review, 41(2), 214–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.11.019

Berelson, B. R. (1952). Content analysis in communication research. Free Press.

Blau, P. M. (1968). The hierarchy of authority in organizations, American Journal of Sociology, 73(4), 453-467. https://doi.org/10.1086/224506

Boehm, M. K. (2012). An exploratory study of online information regarding Colony Collapse Disorder. SLIS Student Research Journal, 2(1). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/slissrj/vol2/iss1/4

Clarke, C. (2009). Seeking and processing information about zoonotic disease risk: A proposed framework. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 14(5), 314-325. https://doi.org/10.1080/10871200903096155

Decker, D. J., Evanston, D. T., Siemer, W. F., Leong, K. M., Riley, S. J., Wild, M. A., Castle, K. T., & Higgins, C. L. (2010). Understanding risk perceptions to enhance communication about human-wildlife interactions and impact of zoonotic diseases. ILAR Journal, 51(3), 255-261. https://doi.org/10.1093/ilar.51.3.255

Eschenfelder, K. R. (2006). What information should state wildlife agencies provide on their CWD websites? Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 11(3), 221-223. https://doi.org/10.1080/10871200600669940

Griffin, R. J., Dunwoody, S., & Neuwirth, K. (1999). Proposed model of the relationship of risk information seeking and processing to the development of preventative behaviors. Environmental Research, 80(2), S230-S245. http://doi.org/10.1006/enrs.1998.3940

Institute of Medicine. (2003). The Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century. The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10548

Krippendorff, K. (2013). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. SAGE.

Law, T. J. (2019). Google SERPs: Features and how to improve your ranking in 2019. Oberlo. Retrieved from https://www.oberlo.com/blog/serp-google-search-engine-results

Levings, R. L. (2012). Emerging and exotic zoonotic disease preparedness and response in the United States - coordination of the animal health component. Zoonoses and Public Health, 59(2), 80-94. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01495.x

Palttala, P., Boano, C., Lund, R., & Vos, M. (2012). Communication gaps in disaster management. Journal of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 20(1), 2-12. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5973.2011.00656.x

MarketingCharts.com. (2019). How many search results do people scroll through on Amazon? Retrieved from https://www.marketingcharts.com/industries/retail-and-e-commerce-108164

Mergel, I. (2016). Social media institutionalization in the U.S. federal government, Government Information Quarterly, 33(1), 142-148. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2015.09.002

Reynolds, B., & Seeger, M. W. (2005). Crisis and emergency risk communication as an integrative model. Journal of Health Communication, 10(1), 43–55. http://doi.org/10.1080/10810730590904571

Riffe, D., Lacy, S., & Fico, F. G. (2005). Analyzing media messages using quantitative content analysis in research (2nd ed). Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.

Rogers, P., Burnside-Lawry, J., Dragisic, J., & Mills, C. (2016). Collaboration and communication: Building a research agenda and way of working towards community disaster resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management, 25(1), 75-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-01-2015-0013

Siwak, J. (2018). Digital communication and agency: Unseen infrastructures that influence our communicative capacities online, Communicare, 37(1), 118-135.

Smith, R. D. (2006). Responding to global infectious disease outbreaks; Lessons from SARS on the role of risk perception communication and management. Social Science and Medicine, 63(12), 3113-3123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.08.004

So, J., Kuang, K., & Cho, H. (2019). Information seeking upon exposure to risk messages: Predictors, outcomes, and mediating roles of health information seeking. Communication Research, 46(5), 663-687. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650216679536

Tabbaa, D. (2010). Emerging zoonoses: Responsible communication with the media - lessons learned and future perspectives. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 36(1), S80-S83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2010.06.028

Taylor, M., & Kent, M. L. (2014). Dialogic engagement: Clarifying foundational concepts. Journal of Public Relations Research, 26(5), 384–398. https://doi.org/10.1080/1062726X.2014.956106

Taylor, L. H., Latham, S. M., & Woolhouse, M. E. J. (2001) Risk factors for human disease emergence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 356(1411), 983-989. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2001.0888

Van der Meer, T. (2018). Public frame building: The role of source usage in times of crisis. Communication Research, 45(6), 956-981. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650216644027

Westerman, D., Spence, P. R., & Van Der Heide, B. (2014). Social media as information source: Recency of updates and credibility of information. Journal of computer-mediated communication, 19(2), 171-183. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12041

World Health Organization. (2017). Communicating risk in public health emergencies: A WHO guideline for emergency risk communication (ERC) policy and practice. World Health Organization.

Young, R., Tully, M., & Dalrymple, K. E. (2018). #Engagement: Use of Twitter chats to construct nominal participatory spaces during health crises. Information, Communication & Society, 21(4), 499–515. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1301518

Published
2020-01-13
How to Cite
Baker, L., McLeod-Morin, A., Kent, K., & Lindsey, A. (2020). No online information outbreak: A quantitative content analysis of the CDC and USDA websites for available information on zoonotic disease. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 1(1), 25-37. https://doi.org/10.37433/aad.v1i1.19
Section
Articles