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Role of Media in Managing Disasters

The media has become a major determinant of disaster response and has been implicated as having contributed to secondary trauma. The traditional media include newspapers, television, and radio. Although traditional media historically served as an instrument of public awareness of disaster events, more recently the role of traditional and new media has become transformational in its catalytic role in mobilizing public response to disaster.

Since the advent of cable network news, near real-time video reporting from the scene of disasters provides a major source of “data” on disaster situations, even for public policy officials. In the cases of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti, and other disasters, video news reports provided the earliest situational awareness to major public officials. Advances in telecommunications ...

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