In 1981, Allan Mazur formulated his famous hypothesis: there is a direct relation between media coverage and public reaction against technological issues. Mazur’s hypothesis is exclusively and simply quantitative: the more the media cover a technoscientific issue, the more the public is brought to take a position against them. Few contributions that have tested Mazur’s hypothesis, directly or indirectly, have found a rather weak relationship between media exposure and public opinion. In this paper, I conducted an analysis on media coverage of food in Italy in the period 2010-2016. I calculated a risk index in the corpus of newspaper articles. This measure is used to compare it with longitudinal public opinion surveys to test this presumed "direct effect" of media.
Keywords: Mass media coverage, public opinion, food safety, media effect, Mazur’s hypothesis