Social Media Framing of Hurricane Katrina’s 10-year Anniversary

Authors: Sahar Zavareh*, LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Sascha Jackisch, LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Topics: Urban Geography, Cultural Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: media, disasters, social media, digital methods, framing theory, Hurricane Katrina, disaster recovery
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Galerie 2, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Hurricane Katrina was by the far the most intensively reported natural disaster in 2005 with coverage spanning from event details, impact, damages and losses, to recovery efforts. Portrayals of aid relief and recovery were vividly and prominently displayed in traditional media in 2005 without the use of social media today. At the center of new media and digital media research are key concepts of identity and community. The loss of identity or new identities created from these natural disasters can be seen as a dynamic transformation process supporting recovery and movement towards new environments and ecosystems. Embedded in these themes of identity is the sense of place and space of geographical analysis where social media has furthered this research connecting individuals regardless of having a shared place through the creation of relationships in a digital environment. This research seeks to uncover stories focused on identities and community recovery of the Hurricane Katrina 10-year (K10) anniversary in New Orleans narrated by traditional news media and new social media platforms. Framing theory will be applied to focus how traditional and social media presented these stories and how their meaning is constructed. The digital methods employed will analyze content from Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube using image searches and scrape, tags, and metadata. Additionally, we will compare the online news reporting of the event to the traditional print news stories of the K10 event. The results are presented with our findings and analysis of media disaster framing.

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