Byline: Fateme. Ghassabi, Firoozeh. Zare-Farashbandi
Introduction: In the age of information, mass media are considered one of the most important means of communication. This creates an important role for mass media in creating national unity and remodelling of public opinions due to the widespread access to the mass media. Crisis in all its forms are an inseparable part of mankind's life and their diversity is increasing over time. Mass media play a special role in providing information and making people aware of the situation during crisis situations. The media can calm the populace and encourage them to do positive actions, and vice versa, terrorized the populace and create chaos. The aim of this article is to evaluate the role of media in informing people in crisis situation caused by Azerbaijan earthquake based on the opinion of university students. Materials and Methods: This is an applied study using survey method. The statistical population consisted all of the students of Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran and cluster sampling method was used to select 350 students for additional study. The data collection instrument was a researcher-made questionnaire. Results: The results showed that most respondents have been following the news through national television channels. According to the findings, the mass media plays an important and positive role in covering this incident motivated the populace to send humanitarian helps to disaster areas. Also most respondents tend to follow the news of the incident until the news coming from disaster areas return to normal. Discussion and Conclusion: All types of media play a critical role in disaster management, prior alarm systems and public education regarding disaster management; therefore, playing an important part in reducing the casualties and financial losses caused by such disasters. People expect mass media coverage during and after disasters and crises to be realistic, objective and non-promotional so that the events are reported in a precise and accurate manner.
Due to the ever increasing reach and influence of the mass media in today's society, they have become an inseparable part of any social situation. Mass media facilitates access to information for policymakers, managers and citizens alike and increases the speed with which new information is gathered accumulated and distributed, further increasing its role in managing situations such as natural disasters. Mass media can have a negative role in a crisis, increasing its scope or play a positive role and help solve the crisis. Nevertheless, the role of mass media in any crisis cannot be denied.
Public opinion is always disturbed during a crisis. In these situations, media can engage in an organized effort to control the public emotions and control the public opinion with a positive attitude. It is worth mentioning that without positive attitude in the media, even the best efforts of policymakers and managers would not have the best possible effect. In these situations, reporters working for the media should receive the information only from official sources in order to limit the number of contradicting and confusing information. Accurate and...
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