Media Coverage of the Browning Prediction

November 1993 (VOL. 11, NO. 3)

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A study of three newspapers that primarily serve the New Madrid Fault area shows that the press and public officials probably share the blame for public panic surrounding the 1990 Iben Browning earthquake prediction. The press failed to report soon enough scientists' views that refuted Browning's prediction, and some public officials used mass media to promote earthquake awareness even though the tactics fed public misperceptions about the likelihood of Browning's prediction coming to pass.