National Center for Food Protection and Defense: Advancing the Robust Case Study

Grants and Contracts Details


Currently, the Robust Case Study (RCS) Project engages in media monitoring of foodrelated events to assess the relationship between agency, organization, and industry communication to media coverage. The project produces case studies that offer detailed feedback to those affected by the event and generalizable lessons for risk communication practitioners in the broad spectrum of the food industry. The project is affiliated with consumer confidence research done by the Systems Strategy team and recall research done by the Event Modeling team. In 2009, the contribution of the Robust Case Study project expanded to include requests for real time feedback related to media coverage. In the past year, organizations such as Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Dairy Management Incorporated, and the National Pork Board have requested such feedback. In the next six years, we intend to formalize the capacity of the RCS to consistently provide real time feedback in the midst of food-related crises. Doing so will require continued media surveillance, additional data involving social networking media, and greater cooperation with the Systems Strategies Theme members. We will generate feedback by: a) assessing the degree to which an agency or organization’s messages are reported accurately in broadcast and print media using the Digital Content Analysis Laboratory at the University of Kentucky; b) conducting a content analysis explaining points of interest where consumer confidence rises and falls in correlation with foodborne events (see proposal by Kinsy/Degenoff/Harrison), and c) adding the assessment of social networking media to the project (see proposal by Palenchar/Veil). The analysis will also include measures of potential stigmatization and inaccessibility related to underrepresented pospulations (see proposals by Littlefield and Cowden). The emphases on real time feedback, content analysis correlated with consumer confidence and tracking social media were not previously part of RCS. The media surveillance project is also expanded to include comprehension levels of agency messages and potential stigmatization of particular groups.
Effective start/end date9/1/10 → 8/31/11


  • University of Minnesota: $147,425.00


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