Mass Media Systems And Community Hazards And Disasters

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Chapter 1. Introduction From September 1985 through August 1988 the Disaster Research Center (DRC) at the University of Delaware undertook a study of local mass media response to community disasters. A total of 15 new field studies were undertaken for this research, fourteen in the United States and one in Canada (and for certain purposes comparable data from two earlier studies were also used). The research had a number of specific topical goals, namely the following. First, we conducted a survey of all local media outlets in those communities in which DRC carried out field work for this study. The purpose of the survey was to document the involvement of the Local radio, television and newspaper organizations in local community disasters. We were interested in establishing the degree and kind of participation in the response that the local mass communication system would show in disasters in their own areas. Second, 32 in depth case studies were undertaken of the largest and most involved local radio, television and newspaper outlets. The primary goal of this second research objective was to determine the organizational structure and news processing patterns of these entities in the emergency periods of disasters. Specifically, we examined such intraorganizational and interorganizational elements as the-gatekeeping process, the decision making structure, news sources used, and news processing during the emergency period and to compare these patterns with normal, day-to-day operations.
Mass Media Systems, Community Hazards, Organizational Analysis, Interorganizational Issues