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

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

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Abstract

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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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 06:03
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 00:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: information experience, natural disaster, social media, qualitative research, CEDM
Fields of Research : 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080703 Human Information Behaviour
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080709 Social and Community Informatics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33324

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