Reading Log–Article 9

  1. Staggers, Julie. “Risk Communication, Space, and Findability.”

The article uses abstract concepts such as space and findability to look at public information in risk communication, and how that trickles into the different mediums of communication. Online instructions, visual models, and written all play roles in the effectiveness of the genre. It is explored by the Yucca Mountain Information Center (YMIC), who practice risk communication in a unique variety of ways. They do this to enable visitors to become active rather than passive in shaping knowledge, and learn by doing. Methodologies used to pull this off while retaining control were primarily visual, with text serving as supplemental; but media and modules were also present. The basis of their communication was based on the three levels of information processing; Lounging (learning while relaxed), standing (where space is in charge of the visitor’s pace), and tasking (the most attentive form). The article concludes by noting the effectiveness of having a space in risk communication where the problem is framed in a way that warrants a lot of questions, in that it allows for more solutions.

What was most interesting about the article was the observation that we as people are gaining knowledge one of the fashions at all times. Whether we are watching television or writing a paper, our brains are readily processing information. This is important to remember in a field like risk communication, which as we learned from the previous instruction set does vary based upon the product or task. Waste management, the specialty of YMIC , had a difficult job in creating valuable instructions sets in such a field. It will be interesting to learn more about how to make effective risk management instructions, and get a better idea of what will work for each particular genre. Research is key to this.

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