Citizen Journalism as Data for Disaster Research

August 2013 (VOL. 31, NO. 2)

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The “story” of a disaster is no longer simply told by the traditional media. Along with developments in communication technology, we are witnessing the desire of active citizens, via acts of citizen journalism, to be involved in telling the story of a “disaster”. Accordingly, from the perspective of disaster researchers seeking to understand how others perceive response to disaster, material created by citizen journalists provides a unique insight into the activities of members of the public following a disaster. The article begins by providing illustrations of acts of citizen journalism following acts of terrorism include the 2007 Glasgow airport attacks and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The article then goes on to provide researchers with a methodological tool known as qualitative media analysis for the study of citizen journalism data. It will provide evidence of this methodology in action by presenting a case study of the 7th July 2005 London bombings.