Changing relationships in the apparatus of crisis communication: How digital media might influence the relationship between government and citizen
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With the rise of digital media in our society the ways that citizens communicate changes, this forces government to evolve their apparatus of crisis communication to include digital media in their crisis communication. Existing research originating in sociology, psychology, and communication studies do not study the consequences that different media platforms have on the way that crisis communication takes place. Instead they study the content of the communication, the methods that people use to communicate or the responses of victims to crises. This study attempts to fill this knowledge gap by performing an object analysis on the digital media platforms NL-Alert and Twitter. This paper investigates the affordances and TimeSpace constructions of digital media to ascertain how these platforms might change the relationship in crisis communication between citizens and the Dutch government. Two themes are considered vital to crisis communication: accuracy of information, and the speed and spread of information. Analysis suggests that digital media can play a significant role in changing the interactive relationship between citizens and the Dutch government in times of crises. However there are also limiting factors which make it difficult to say how digital media will actually influence the interactive relationship between the Dutch government and citizens.