The Role of Public Relations and Mass Media in Influencing Public Attitudes to Genetically Modified (GM) and Organic Foods

Document Type : Original Article


Communication skills, Faculty of sciences and arts King Abdulaziz University Jeddah


Purpose: To investigate the role of public relations and mass media as an influence on public attitudes about GM and organic foods.
Design/Methodology: The study involved a comprehensive analysis of four prominent UK newspaper articles, which discussed the topic of GM and organic foods. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) were carried out with specialists in different areas of interest regarding the topic of GM and organic foods. Public attitudes and knowledge of GM and organic foods were explored by conducting Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and reviewing relevant literature from two existing studies in 2009 and 2010.
Originality/Value: This study will establish a balanced inquiry into the role of public relations and mass media when it comes to explaining GM and organic foods to the public. Hence, the study offers empirical evidence derived from credible studies as well as a rigorous analysis alongside the significant insight and knowledge of key figures in the fields of science, public relations, media, and journalism, and that of common UK folk.
Findings: This study found that while public knowledge of GM and organic foods varied, there was no doubt about the influence of public relations on the journalism industry. Interestingly, newspapers’ influence on public attitudes toward GM and organic foods was not strong.
Limitations: The main limitations within this study were sample size related to FGDs. Ideally, a much larger number of participants would be helpful in supporting the hypothesis of this study.


Main Subjects