Citizens and social media in times of natural disaster: Exploring information experience

Yates, Christine & Partridge, Helen (2015) Citizens and social media in times of natural disaster: Exploring information experience. Information Research, 20(1), paper 659.

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Abstract

Introduction. Social media is becoming a vital source of information in disaster or emergency situations. While a growing number of studies have explored the use of social media in natural disasters by emergency staff, military personnel, medial and other professionals, very few studies have investigated the use of social media by members of the public. The purpose of this paper is to explore citizens’ information experiences in social media during times of natural disaster.

Method. A qualitative research approach was applied. Data was collected via in-depth interviews. Twenty-five people who used social media during a natural disaster in Australia participated in the study.

Analysis. Audio recordings of interviews and interview transcripts provided the empirical material for data analysis. Data was analysed using structural and focussed coding methods.

Results. Eight key themes depicting various aspects of participants’ information experience during a natural disaster were uncovered by the study: connected; wellbeing; coping; help; brokerage; journalism; supplementary and characteristics.

Conclusion. This study contributes insights into social media’s potential for developing community disaster resilience and promotes discussion about the value of civic participation in social media when such circumstances occur. These findings also contribute to our understanding of information experiences as a new informational research object.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 82531
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: information experience, natural disaster, social media, qualitative research, CEDM
ISSN: 1368-1613
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Human Information Behaviour (080703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Social and Community Informatics (080709)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Funding:
  • AUDA FOUNDATION/unknown
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The authors
Deposited On: 16 Mar 2015 22:48
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 08:01

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