A macro-view of the field of media and risk is offered by examining four main routes of media-risk research. These routes are the media's role in: providing risk knowledge to inform citizens; modulating public acceptability of different risks; motivating the public to take responsibility for, and action regarding, risks; and providing imaginative schemata regarding voluntarily chosen risks. Research tendencies in each of these routes are summarised and critiqued, with reference to methodology, theoretical frameworks and research foci, enabling articulation of new research directions. Methodologically, there is a need for more longitudinal, historical, contextual and interpretive studies of impacts of mediated risk at micro and macro levels, and more in-depth, comparative studies between different risk types across different media forms and genres. Greater empirical engagement with risk-oriented social theory such as risk society, governmentality, risk cultures and edgework would be productive. Under-explored research foci include: the gaps in knowledge within the Sociology of News; the features of risk that make it a risk issue and how these features interact with various media forms, genres and audiences; and impacts of the variations in audience trust in different media on their trust in mass-mediated risk knowledge and experience.