Sense-Giving Strategies of Media Organisations in Social Media Disaster Communication: Findings from Hurricane Harvey
Chapter from the book: Australasian Conference on Information Systems, . 2018. Australasian Conference on Information Systems 2018.
Media organisations are essential communication stakeholders in social media disaster communication during extreme events. They perform gatekeeper and amplification roles which are crucial for collective sense-making processes. In that capacity, media organisations distribute information through social media, use it as a source of information, and share such information across different channels. Yet, little is known about the role of media organisations on social media as supposed sense-givers to effectively support the creation of mutual sense. This study investigates the communication strategies of media organisations in extreme events. A Twitter dataset consisting of 9,414,463 postings was collected during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Social network and content analysis methods were applied to identify media communication approaches. Three different sense-giving strategies could be identified: retweeting of local in-house outlets; bound amplification of messages of individual to the organisation associated journalists; and open message amplification.