6. Perceptive stereotype of catastrophes from mass media coverage of prior risks

          Mass media creates a false image of global catastrophe that has a subconscious and profound impact on our estimates. Experience of watching television reports on catastrophes has developed the subconscious stereotype that doomsday will be shown to us on CNN. However, a scenario might not unfold in that way. A global event that affects everyone on the planet very quickly may not have time to be adequately covered by the media. Doomsday may not be televised.

          Television also creates the perception that there will be an abundance of data regarding a disaster as it emerges, as has been the case with threats such as earthquakes and bird flu mutations. However, the amount of information available may actually be quite small in proportion to the magnitude of the risk, so detailed reporting may not be forthcoming.