News Media and Disasters: Navigating Old Challenges and New Opportunities in the Digital Age

Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Mass media hold an important but often misunderstood role in disaster events. Research has consistently shown that media coverage of disasters tends to be rife with misinformation and reinforces myths about race, social class, violence and criminal activity. Studies have also revealed that effective media messages can benefit mitigation efforts, enhance early warning systems, promote orderly and timely evacuation procedures, and help bring communities together in times of upheaval. This chapter examines research on the media-disaster relationship to highlight the many ways that media can positively influence disaster planning and recovery while also noting the many concerns associated with media coverage of disasters. Future directions for media-disasters research are considered along with ways that media workers and emergency management practitioners might more effectively manage the media-disaster relationship before, during, and after emergency events.


Mass media Disaster myths Media logic Framing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baldwin Wallace UniversityBereaUSA
  2. 2.Marywood UniversityScrantonUSA

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