A Cross-Societal Comparison of Disaster News Reporting in Japan and the United States

Quarantelli, E. L.
Wenger, Dennis E.
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Disaster Research Center
During 1984-1985, sociologist from the Disaster Research Center (DRC) at the University of Delaware and social scientists associated with the Institute of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Tokyo in Japan undertook a joint research project on mass media reporting of news about disasters in both countries. Using a common although not identical research design, cooperatively developed ahead of time, the Americans studied local community-level reporting of a major hurricane (Hurricane Alicia in the Houston, Texas area in 1983) and a major sudden flood (around Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1984) while the Japanese concurrently researched the reporting of two similar disasters (floods around Nagasaki in 1982 and an earthquake in the Tohoku district in 1983) in their country. After the field data had been mostly analyzed, the researchers from both societies held a meeting in the United States to compare their findings.
Japan , United States , mass communication , disaster research