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Disaster journalism: fostering citizen and community disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience across the disaster cycle

Disaster journalism: fostering citizen and community disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience across the disaster cycle

Disasters 43(3): 591-611

Natural and human-caused disasters pose a significant risk to the health and well-being of people. Journalists and news organisations can fulfil multiple roles related to disasters, ranging from providing warnings, assessing disaster mitigation and preparedness, and reporting on what occurs, to aiding long-term recovery and fostering disaster resilience. This paper considers these possible functions of disaster journalism and draws on semi-structured interviews with 24 journalists in the United States to understand better their approach to the discipline. A thematic analysis was employed, which resulted in the identification of five main themes and accompanying subthemes: (i) examining disaster mitigation and preparedness; (ii) facilitating recovery; (iii) self-care and care of journalists; (iv) continued spread of social media; and (v) disaster journalism ethics. The paper concludes that disaster journalism done poorly can result in harm, but done well, it can be an essential instrument with respect to public disaster planning, management, response, and recovery.

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Accession: 066696236

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30990926

DOI: 10.1111/disa.12352

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