Sustainable development agendas in Bangladesh are frequently framed in the media as being constrained by water insecurity and the decision-making challenges posed by multiple risks of both natural and human origins. This article suggests, however, that the reverse also occurs: The boundaries of risk narratives constructed by the media serve to mitigate public concerns, reinforce national development agendas, and legitimize structural changes of the dominant institutions. These relationships are explored through a set of risk discourse filters that merge content analysis approaches with the defining phenomena of risk society theory. Advancing an inventory of 3,211 drinking water specific articles published by the Ittefaq newspaper between 1980 and 2016, the analysis identifies 3 temporal clusters of discursive behaviors and content focus that contribute a historic perspective of how Bengali newspapers construct, define, and react to multiple water safety crises, specifically cholera and arsenic.
This is an output from the REACH Improving Water Security for the Poor programme
Fischer, A. (2019). Constraining Risk Narratives: A Multidecadal media analysis of drinking water insecurity in Bangladesh. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2019.1570840
Constraining Risk Narratives: A Multidecadal media analysis of drinking water insecurity in Bangladesh