Epidemic and risk communication: an analysis of strategic and graphic characteristics of infographics

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Shin, Haejung
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Suman Lee
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication offers two majors: Advertising (instructing students in applied communication for work in business or industry), and Journalism and Mass Communication (instructing students in various aspects of news and information organizing, writing, editing, and presentation on various topics and in various platforms). The Department of Agricultural Journalism was formed in 1905 in the Division of Agriculture. In 1925 its name was changed to the Department of Technical Journalism. In 1969 its name changed to the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; from 1969 to 1989 the department was directed by all four colleges, and in 1989 was placed under the direction of the College of Sciences and Humanities (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). In 1998 its name was changed to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.
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This study explores the strategic and graphic characteristics of infographics and data visualizations for epidemic issues and examines their inter-relationships. A content analysis was conducted by using 254 infographics for six epidemic crises (Ebola, SARS, MERS, H1N1, Bird flu, and Zika) from health organizations and news media. Results show that infographics has been used in diverse purposes of communication, not only for delivery of general information but also for persuasion for people’s behavior change. Neutral images and graphics are more frequently detected than emotional appeals like fear and humor. Graphic types tend to be used differently by specific communication goal and organization type. The findings indicate the current use of infographics in the context of health and risk communication and offer several suggestions for future studies about infographics.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016