News this week of the possible link between cell phones and cancer has been all the buzz across the global media landscape. The findings, reported by the World Health Organization found a possible link that radiation from cell phones may be carcinogenic. This is, of course, non conclusive. In a word where there are almost as many cell phones as there are people (Washington Post’s Post Tech put the number at move than five billion) cell phones are not juts ubiquitous, they have also become an essential part of daily life for many.
According to the Washington Post,
Cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic” to humans, according to the panel organized by the World Health Organization. But an exhaustive, eight-day review of hundreds of studies concluded that the existing evidence is insufficient to know for sure. And because cellphones are so popular, further research is urgently needed, the experts said.
The phrasing “possibly carcinogenic” is on a Likert-type scale ranging from carcinogenic to probably not carcinogenic, and is considered the third-highest rating…just below “probably carcinogenic”.
Can anyone out the WHO and public health institutions tell the difference between “probably carcinogenic” and “possibly carcinogenic”? in media and communication studies, there is much research on how people ‘read’ the news and other mediated information. I do wonder, when you heard of this, what first came to mind? How many articles did you read on this topic? Did you jump to the conclusion that a “possible” link means one is eminent? Did the media/news sources help you come to that conclusion?