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Audiences and Disasters: Analyses of Media Diaries Before and After an Earthquake and a Massive Fire

Journal of Communication


A�0�9o: 2016

Autor UDP: María Teresa Correa Reymond

Otros autores: Teresa Correa, Andrés Scherman, Arturo Arriagada

Media diaries of 36 Chilean adults were being collected as two disasters unfolded: an earthquake on the northern coast and 11 days later a massive fire in Valparaíso. From an audience reception theoretical approach, these events provide a unique opportunity to compare people's engagement with media and responses to two mediated disasters. By complementing textual and computerized linguistic analyses, this study reveals that audiences' responses differ by type of disaster and proximity. Where earthquakes abound, people express more rational analyses of media quake coverage and more emotional responses to the fire. Also, proximity played an expected role with the fire but not the quake, suggesting that audiences' engagement with media events depends on the context and the type of disaster.