A three‐person field team devoted four days to gathering data in Andover, Kansas, USA, after a tornado devastated the Golden Spur Mobile Home Park on 26 April 1991. They sought to assess the extent to which the media′s reporting of the local emergency management team′s response to the disaster influenced the team′s subsequent decisions. The researchers functioned as participant observers in the emergency operating centre (EOC), informally interviewed principal EOC members and media personnel, and obtained copies of media news stories (television and newspaper) which reported on the organizational response to the disaster. Assesses the observation and interview data as well as the content analysis of the news stories and suggests that the EOC team devoted a considerable portion of their time to responding to the negative press they received centring around two issues: pre‐impact warning and post‐impact debris clearance. Some of the media′s news stories sought to engage in blame assignation. The EOC members devoted time to developing strategies to control the media damage and changed some decisions they had made in response to the media′s criticism. The relevant disaster research literature is utilized to explain the response of the EOC personnel and the media. Reliance on normal time roles explains the EOC response to blame assignation.
Fischer, H. and Harr, V. (1994), "Emergency Operating Centre Response to Media Blame Assignation: A Case Study of an Emergent EOC", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 7-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653569410064976Download as .RIS
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