Have Newspaper, Will Travel?


How media cover disasters

Critics say…
  • “A strong theme regarding story content is that media reports of disaster do not reflect reality, but are a matter or social construction…”32
  • “While a natural crisis can initially get substantial media attention, it is often for a relatively short but intensive period of time. By contrast, the effect of continued and sustained media exposure to riots, killings and political stand-offs can carry on for a much longer period of time. Potentially, it can have a more sustained impact on the perceived tourism image of a destination.”3
  • “What is reported by the mass media perpetuates the ‘myths’ of disaster behavior.”18

Though some of the comments were made years ago, variations of these continue to be voiced. The Florida shark attack coverage is one more recent example of such myths.

Another reporter questioned coverage of child abductions.

"From the amount of media attention given to child abductions this summer, the casual observer might think the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of kidnappings by strangers."21

However, he said the statistics were actually lower than they were the previous year.



Continue to Studies pg. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Copyright © 2003

Heather M. Edwards

Last Updated 4/16/03

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