Does news coverage of traffic crashes affect perceived blame and preferred solutions? Evidence from an experiment

* Even subtle differences in editorial patterns significantly affected readers’ attribution of blame and choice of punishment
* Shifting from pedestrian-focused to driver-focused language reduced victim-blaming and increased perceived fault of the driver
* A thematic frame significantly increased support for infrastructure improvements

#traffic #safety #driving #cycling #walking #bicycle #car #science
However, I have seen language choice affect coverage of other stories.
  • A telecommunications cable was cut, and it was reported as sabotage, though no supporting evidence was offered. (The union representing workers was in a contract dispute with the company at the time.)
  • An appearance by Milo Yannopolous that prompted protests and vandalism was reported as a 'near riot' by one station, though none of the other stations in the market used that term, nor did campus or city police.