Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 17 Issue 4 (December 2009), Pages 203-313

News Organizations and Information Gathering During a Natural Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina (pages 266-273)

News organizations are uniquely situated to gather and transmit information during times of natural disaster, which can help citizens and policy‐makers understand the scope, causes, and consequences of the unfolding disaster. Yet, news organizations are also subject to institutional biases that may lead to distorted presentations of reality and that perpetuate misinformation, stereotypes, and misunderstanding. In this article, we utilize examples from Hurricane Katrina to critically examine the role of the television news media during natural disasters. We contend that the institutional characteristics of news organizations are invaluable in the reporting of ‘breaking news’ and developments on the ground but hinder their ability to gather contextually rich information on the causes and consequences of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>