- Risk is involuntary
- Risk seen as inequitable
- Risk seen as inescapable
- Risk is man-made
- Hidden and irreversible damage
- Damage to children
- Risk poorly understood by science
- Contradictory statements from responsible sources
- Questions of blame.
- Alleged secrets and attempted cover-ups.
- Human interest through identifiable heroes, villains, etc. (as well as victims).
- Links with existing high-profile issues or personalities.
- Signal value: What’s next?
- Many people exposed to the risk, even if at low levels (It could be you!)
- Strong visual impact (pictures of suffering)
If you look at recent vaccine safety concerns, almost all of these factors and triggers are present. No wonder they make such compelling stories in the newspapers.