The Tsunami and the Internet: The Role of New Media Technologies in Disaster Awareness and Relief

Dr. Kris P. Kodrich,
Melinda Laituri
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As illustrated by the millions of dollars donated online to help the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Internet has increasingly played a key role in disaster awareness and relief efforts. This study examines the impact of the Internet in helping to raise money following the 2001 Gujarat earthquake in India, the 2003 Bam earthquake in Iran and the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The study finds that news consumers are increasingly relying on new media to bring them detailed information about disasters, including comprehensive and interactive maps, while concerned citizens are increasingly relying on charity Web sites to make donations to help the survivors. The Internet helps in the formation of disaster-response communities based on common interests as well as geographic locations of concern.

Keywords: Internet, New Media, Disaster-Response Community, Online Donations, Earthquake, Tsunami
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Tsunami and the Internet, The

Dr. Kris P. Kodrich

Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, Colorado State University

Kris Kodrich is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication at Colorado State University, USA. A former reporter and city editor for several U.S. daily newspapers, he has been a Freedom Forum Asia fellow at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and a Fulbright journalism fellow in Spain. His areas of interest include: online journalism; international mass communication; and communication in technology transfer. He has a Ph.D. in journalism from Indiana University, USA.

Melinda Laituri

Associate Professor, Department of Forestry, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University

Melinda Laituri is an associate professor in the Department of Forestry, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship at Colorado State University, USA. She has been a lecturer and post-doctoral research fellow at University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her areas of interest include: cultural geography; environmental equity, risk and hazards; and geographic information systems. She has a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Arizona, USA.

Ref: T05P0305