Constructing Hurricane Florence’s Flooding: Comparing Local and National News

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines local and national news coverage of hurricane-related flooding, including storm surge and coastal flooding during the weather event and subsequent inland flooding. Understanding the nature of media messaging regarding flooding related to hurricanes is crucial to not only identifying implications for broader social dynamics in an age of accelerating climate change, but also to provide insight for local and national journalists tasked with covering hurricanes. Using the case study of coverage of Hurricane Florence, this analysis assesses how hurricane news coverage may be potentially motivating or demotivating audiences to pursue behaviors such as preparing for hurricanes, evacuating if need be, helping neighbors with fewer resources, and aiding in recovery efforts. We find that news constructions did vary between local and national coverage in terms of threat and efficacy messaging and flood frames, and these changed over time. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for covering hurricanes in an age of accelerating climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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