Online News Media Impact on Disaster Response: October 26, 2010 Indonesian Disaster Case Study

By Elyktra Eisman.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reflects a research project on the influence of online news media (from print, radio, and televised outlets) on disaster response. Coverage on the October 2010 Indonesian tsunami and earthquake was gathered from 17 sources from October 26 through November 30. This data was analyzed quantitatively with respect to coverage intensity over time and among outlets. Qualitative analyses were also conducted using keywords and value scale that assessed the degree of positivity or negativity associated with that keyword in the context of accountability. Results yielded insights into the influence of online media on actors’ assumption of accountability and quality of response. It also provided information as to the optimal time window in which advocates and disaster management specialists can best present recommendations to improve policy and raise awareness. Coverage of outlets was analyzed individually, in groups, and as a whole, in order to discern behavior patterns for a better understanding of media interdependency. This project produced analytical insights but is primarily intended as a prototype for more refined and extensive research.

Keywords: Online Media Outlets, Social Media, Text Analysis, Data Visualization, Disaster Response, Disaster Management

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.143-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 17.948MB).

Elyktra Eisman

Research Assistant, Disaster Risk Reduction Project, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA

Elyktra Eisman is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations at Florida International University (FIU) and specializes in Middle Eastern and Security Studies. She has a BS in Electrical Engineering from FIU and a BA in Liberal Arts from Barry University. Her research at FIU involves GIS applications to social science issues. Ms. Eisman’s doctoral research entails the application of mathematical techniques to this area and the development of predictive modeling mechanisms for their incorporation into GIS software. Her GIS experience includes remote sensing data analysis and digital image processing techniques for projects involving the analysis of land use in urban areas. She also plays two historical replica harps, a ca. 1650 Flemish harp and a Welsh Triple Harp, in addition to the modern concert harp.