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Internet Press Freedom and Online Crisis Reporting: The Role of News Sites in SARS Epidemic

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Abstract:

This paper examines the role that was played by news Web sites in two regions with different degrees of Internet press freedom in the SARS crisis. Six online news sites in Hong Kong and mainland China were selected for investigation. The findings indicate that the news sites in Hong Kong, which enjoy a high degree of Internet press freedom, acted as “interactive crisis managers,” and contributed in a number of ways to the management of the SARS crisis in the community. On the contrary, the news sites in the mainland China, which are restricted by media censorship, served as government’s “online agent of containment.” The findings show that news sites were able to offer efficient warnings, timely education, and a network of support during the crisis because of the unique characteristics of the Internet medium. However, due to the constraints on Internet press freedom, the Chinese sites were unable to take full advantage of the Internet medium to play a positive role in the management of the crisis.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

news (131), sar (105), media (91), onlin (80), crisi (78), internet (77), press (72), 2003 (70), site (64), freedom (64), kong (58), hong (58), china (53), report (48), inform (48), epidem (37), communiti (31), govern (28), peopl (26), stori (24), manag (24),

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Internet press freedom, News Web sites, Online crisis reporting
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Lee, Alice. "Internet Press Freedom and Online Crisis Reporting: The Role of News Sites in SARS Epidemic" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY, <Not Available>. 2009-05-25 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p12658_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lee, A. Y. "Internet Press Freedom and Online Crisis Reporting: The Role of News Sites in SARS Epidemic" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY Online <PDF>. 2009-05-25 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p12658_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper examines the role that was played by news Web sites in two regions with different degrees of Internet press freedom in the SARS crisis. Six online news sites in Hong Kong and mainland China were selected for investigation. The findings indicate that the news sites in Hong Kong, which enjoy a high degree of Internet press freedom, acted as “interactive crisis managers,” and contributed in a number of ways to the management of the SARS crisis in the community. On the contrary, the news sites in the mainland China, which are restricted by media censorship, served as government’s “online agent of containment.” The findings show that news sites were able to offer efficient warnings, timely education, and a network of support during the crisis because of the unique characteristics of the Internet medium. However, due to the constraints on Internet press freedom, the Chinese sites were unable to take full advantage of the Internet medium to play a positive role in the management of the crisis.

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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 30
Word count: 7770
Text sample:
Internet Press Freedom and Online Crisis Reporting: The Role of News Sites in SARS Epidemic Abstract This paper examines the role that was played by news Web sites in two regions with different degrees of Internet press freedom in the SARS crisis. Six online news sites in Hong Kong and mainland China were selected for investigation. The findings indicate that the news sites in Hong Kong which enjoy a high degree of Internet press freedom acted as “interactive crisis
Mainland China Information 56.3% 62.3% dissemination (1 110) (66) 12.7% 15.1% Public education (251) (16) Crisis interpretation 13.2% 8.5% and government (260) (9) monitoring 17.8% 14.2% Community building (350) (15) 100% 100% Total (1 971 news themes) (106 news themes) 30


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