Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 27 Issue 3 (September 2019), Pages 197-279

Disentangling rhetorical subarenas of public health crisis communication: A study of the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak in the news media and social media in Sweden (pages 237-246)

Abstract Drawing on rhetorical arena theory, this study investigates the variations of content across communication channels (subarenas), guided by different media logics, during the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak. Restricting the study to one country, Sweden, a content analysis was conducted of two national newspapers (in total 848 articles), their posts on branded Facebook pages (47) and user comments on these Facebook posts (1,661). Some conclusions to be made are, that content differed between subarenas, with Facebook news being more sensational and focused on human interest stories, and Facebook comments to a greater extent related to other current socio‐political issues. Also, news media were more alarmist than Facebook comments, although alarmism declined on all subarenas as the danger became more tangible.

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