Media & Disasters

4 April 2015
Analyzes positive & negative effects, ethics, bias of media coverage of Titanic, 1992 L.A. riot, 1996 ValuJet crash.

Americans turn to the media during natural disasters and severe weather as a source of information. Radio and television provide information on where an earthquake occurred and how strong it was, whether a tornado watch or warning is in effect, and which direction hurricanes and tropical storms are headed. Few dispute the importance of media coverage in these instances, and the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) evolved to take advantage of the ability of mass media to quickly inform thousands and even millions of individual about potential problems in their region. However, the media’s coverage of disasters extends into the aftermath of the disaster, with information about the extent and cost of the damage, speculation about who (or what) was responsible for the event, and interviews with families who have been…
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