Journalists as Bureaucrats: Perceptions of \\"Social Responsibility\\" Media Roles in Local Emergency Planning

March 1991 (VOL. 9, NO. 1)

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The news media are planing increasingly important roles as disseminators of vital information about risks, hazards, and disaster preparedness. But an ethical question has emerged about wheher journalists should join emergency planning groups or only report on them from outside the meeting rooms in the interest of objectivity. Environmental threats may help set the stage for new theory of media roles in policy and planning. This paper will address perceptions of appropriate roles for journalists in one type of emergency preparedness organization--the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) organized by mandate of the Superfund legislation of 1986.