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Research Article Open Access

Inoculation Theory: A Theoretical and Practical Framework for Conferring Resistance to Pack Journalism Tendencies

Abstract

This study examines the nature of inoculation theory, a process through which attitude change can be resisted in the face of counterattitudinal communication intended to convert or shift existing attitudes, and how it applies to pack journalism, an unethical media practice where herds of journalists repeatedly and widely cover one particular story and storm the targets (i.e., people, buildings, etc.) with their overwhelming presence. Based on inoculation theory’s theoretical assumptions, and by deriving concepts and designs from previous inoculation studies, the authors urge scholars to implement a viable theoretical and practical platform by which inoculation treatments can be executed on journalists to render maximum attitudinal resistance toward the copycat (and unethical) element of pack journalism coverage.

Gerald-Mark Breen, Jonathan Matusitz

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