The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the University of Georgia graduate (JongSuk Choi and Hana Kim) and undergraduate (AnnElise Cutrer, Anna Felz, Leah Kapa, Victoria Salegna and Meghan Wright) students who spent countless hours amassing and coding the data set for this study.
Blog Functions as Risk and Crisis Communication During Hurricane Katrina
Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
© 2009 International Communication Association
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 1–31, October 2009
How to Cite
Macias, W., Hilyard, K. and Freimuth, V. (2009), Blog Functions as Risk and Crisis Communication During Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15: 1–31. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01490.x
- Issue published online: 17 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
Blogs were examined during the 2 weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. city of New Orleans to better understand what risk and crisis communication functions they served. The 4 major functions—communication, political, information, and helping—included both filtering and linking about rescue needs and efforts, missing persons, ways to offer and find assistance, fostering community, and providing information on damage and government response. A thinker function was fulfilled where bloggers expressed opinions, especially on government response. An additional function not previously delineated was identified, which might be termed emotive or therapeutic. In addition, several of the blog functions indicate the role the Internet plays in maintaining a sense of community in times of crisis.