Disasters in today's globalized world are becoming not only more frequent but, often, more catastrophic. The media play a critical role in communicating and making sense of these cataclysmic events. This book offers unique insights into how news media today make disasters culturally meaningful and politically important, drawing on cutting-edge theoretical work and recent examples. It looks at how globalization is affecting the meanings of disaster but also considers the continued relevance of nations and their citizens as interpretive frameworks. It examines how journalists' witnessing of disasters is changing in response to new technologies, including social media, and how the ideal of objectivity might be challenged by new, more emotional and more compassionate forms of story-telling premised on an injunction to care. Ultimately, the book calls attention to the media possibilities for addressing disasters as global social, political, cultural and economic events in which we all have a stake.
Mervi Pantti is Associate Professor and Director of the International Master's Programme in Media and Global Communication in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. She has published on mediated emotions, crisis reporting, digital visual culture and participatory media. Her latest book is Amateur Images and Global News (with Kari Anden-Papadopoulos, 2011). Karin Wahl-Jorgensen holds a PhD in Communication from Stanford University and is currently a Reader at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. She is the author of Journalists and the Public (2007) and Citizens or Consumers? (with Justin Lewis and Sanna Inthorn, 2005) and the editor of books including The Handbook of Journalism Studies (with Thomas Hanitzsch, 2009). She is currently working on a volume titled Emotions, Media and Public Participation. Simon Cottle is Professor of Media and Communications and Deputy Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. His latest books are Transnational Protests and the Media (Peter Lang, 2011), edited with Libby Lester, Global Crisis Reporting (2009) and Mediatized Conflicts (2006). He is series editor of the Global Crises and the Media Series for Peter Lang Publishing.