A couple of days ago I posted a blog that noted the absence of direct information on the Fukushima nuclear crisis coming out of US Schools of Public Health. In it, I wrote
As events at the Fukushima power plant unfolded, I assumed – rather naively as it turns out – that Schools of Public Health across the United States would be mobilizing to provide expert analysis and advice on the health impacts of potential radiation releases.
In response to the piece, Mike Rodewald wrote this:
I must respectfully disagree. While I agree that it is useful for Google to centralize some information to cut through the noise (other commenters have pointed out that this is already happening). Providing expert analysis to news organizations is a more effective use of time for schools of public health than providing their own coverage would be. While I admire your enterprise, I don’t think many other people are trolling the websites of their local university for news on current events. Granted, outlets like newspapers and local news are prone to sensationalism, but they are still the primary and often only source of “news” for most people. And hopefully that sensationalism is tempered by input from experts at a school of public health.
Is he right or is he wrong? Should the media be the primary vehicle for experts to communicate to people as events such as those in Fukushima unfold? Or should they also be looking to communicate and engage with people more directly?
Please let me know what you think in the comments below