Scost1's Blog

Public Information Theory and the Swine Flu

Posted on: March 3, 2010

Public Information theory and the Media

Public Information theory is used many times in the media. Last semester the big thing around campus and the world was the Swine Flu (H1N1). There were many stories that were reported on the virus. Many students on Georgia Southerns campus , were diagnosed with the virus. According to medterms.com, The Swine Flu is a respiratory illness of pigs caused by infection with swine influenza A virus (SIV). While swine flu viruses normally do not infect humans, occasional infections of humans do occur. This epidemic scared many students as well as scared the public. People are trying to make efforts to not spread the virus , as well as not contract the virus at all.

The Public Information theory was used in reporting the Swine Flu information. Public Information theory is basically using the Public Information Officers in reporting to the public. Its what we need to know. Its just pure information. There were Public Information Officers that reported the information on occassions. According to dictionary.com, Public Information Officers (PIOs) are the communications coordinators or spokespersons of certain governmental organizations (i.e. city, county, school district, state government and police/fire departments). They differ from Public Relations departments of private organizations in that many of them typically do not engage in marketing, but solely in providing information to the public and the media as required by law and according to the standards of their profession. Many PIOs are former newscasters or reporters, bringing unique and relevant experience to the position.

An example of when Public Information Officers were used is in this Florida story about the Swine Flu. (click on link for more information on story). Public Information Officers are needed to release stories to the public sometimes because you have one set person that will release the information and one person to contact fro information on the story. This is good because in the midst of a crisis or huge news story , you will need as less confusion as possible.

The media uses Public Information Officers and the Public Information theory many times. They use these because people need to know information and they want to tell truthful information to the public. So overall, i think that this is a good way to get information across to a huge audience (the public).  This is one theory that is used often in the media and will continue to be used because we need to know whats going on in the world. Internationally, this is a great thing because it is universal and used from just about everyone.

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