This paper examines the role of the media in representing environmental risks to society, focusing on how environmental realities are constructed via the objectivist and subjective perspectives. This study explores the construction of reality centered on space exploration, namely, the Cassini space probe. In this study, 200 respondents were asked to read four news articles from various sources and comment on the information contained in the articles. Their comments addressed the extent to which the articles were useful in helping them assess their risk to potential plutonium exposure in the event of a launch disaster. A large majority of the respondents noted that while the information presented by newspaper coverage helped to provide insight, the news coverage often left more questions than answers. However, respondents also noted that the information was not sufficient to help draw specific conclusions about their risk of toxic exposure. Rather, this information was considered adequate for makeing a general assessment of potential environmental hazards in their immediate environment.

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