Paper presented at Transition V: Developing Dialogic Communication conference, Bucharest

This morning my Research Associate Giuliana Tiripelli will present our paper “Challenges and opportunities of dialogic communication in crisis situations: Twitter, affective publics and the 2015 Channel Tunnel fire” at the Understanding Transition V: Developing Dialogic Communication conference at the University of Bucharest. The abstract for the paper can be found below:

Challenges and opportunities of dialogic communication in crisis situations: Twitter, affective publics, and the 2015 Channel Tunnel Fire.

Giuliana Tiripelli & Paul Reilly

 

 

The ‘ambient storytelling infrastructure’ of Twitter today enables ‘affective publics’ to present their own perspectives on events and issues (Papacharissi, 2015). This phenomenon challenges established top-down communicative dynamics, in which definitional power appeared to lie with institutions, organisations, and journalists rather than citizens, and seemingly presents new opportunities for dialogic communication between these actors in the digital age. At the same time, ‘affective publics’ “are mobilized … through expressions of sentiment” (Papacharissi, 2016: 311), creating new information flows that challenge the ability of organisations and journalists to channel communicative resources that manage public responses to crises. This paper explores this binary role of ‘affective publics’ in contemporary media ecologies through the study of the Twitter debate that emerged during the Channel Tunnel Fire. The incident on 17th January 2015, during which a lorry was set alight by an electricity bolt from overhead power lines, led to the evacuation of the passengers and significant disruption to Eurostar services for the next few days. Specifically, the study analyses the role played by journalists and Eurostar staff in the co-construction of meaning of the incident. A critical thematic analysis was conducted (Braun and Clarke 2006) to explore key themes of the 12,652 English-language tweets posted between the 17th and 19th January 2015. URL links shared in tweets were also classified using an inductively-developed content analysis codebook. Results indicate that Twitter accounts belonging to members of the public, rather than the affected organisation (Eurostar) or emergency institutions, were primarily responsible for starting information flows about the Channel Tunnel fire and subsequent disruptions. Although many tweets expressed gratitude for the professionalism of the company and their prompt reply to customer queries, the study suggested an ‘imbalance’ between organisations and private citizens in the co-creation of meaning of the incident in favour of the latter. One interpretation of this finding was that it was a manifestation of the increasingly important role played by flexible and mobile affective publics in defining news events within the contemporary ecology, often at the expense of less flexible news organisations and political institutions that operate in these online spaces. This may present practical problems for emergency managers during incidents such as the Channel Tunnel fire, especially when the cacophony of views on Twitter make it difficult to both filter and share real-time crisis information on the microblogging site. In this way, the paper adds to the emergent literature on dialogic communication and disasters by considering the extent to which the mobilisation of affective publics online challenges the ability of emergency managers to share accurate real-time information with members of the public during such incidents.

Braun V and Clarke V (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2):77-101.

Papacharissi Z (2015) Affective publics: Sentiment, technology and politics. Oxford University Press.

Papacharissi Z (2016) Affective publics and structures of storytelling: sentiment, events and mediality. Information, Communication & Society 19(3):307-324.

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I am looking for a Part-Time Research Assistant for #CascEff Pls RT

I am looking to recruit a part-time RA to assist Dr Dima Atanasova and I on the CascEff project. This position will run for the next few months with the successful candidate helping transcribe interview data and develop a project wiki.

Further information on this role (including salary and closing date) can be found here

For more information on CascEff please see the project website and the university press release

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Press coverage of #CascEff

Dima Atanasova and I are currently working on two work packages as part of the EC FP7 funded project ‘CascEff: Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations.’  We will be posting regular updates on the project on Twitter between now and the completion of the tasks in December 2015.

Our research has recently been highlighted in two magazines:

Research to examine role of media in aftermath of crisis situations, ScienceDaily, 11 August 2014, Available at:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811124624.htm

Disaster media could aid decisions, Professional Security, 15 August 2014, Available at: http://www.professionalsecurity.co.uk/news/case-studies/disaster-media-could-aid-decisions/

For more on #CascEff, please see the project website

CascEff – update on project

I am currently a Work Package leader for a project funded by the EU FP7 programme. The project involves 11 partners from across Europe and focuses on the cascading effects that emerge from crisis situations.

1) Leicester work packages

My two tasks will focus on the communication strategies adopted by incident managers and first responders, with a specific emphasis on how social media is deployed in such situations to provide accurate, real-time information to the public. I look forward to working with Xavier Criel and Safety Centre Europe on this project, which is due to finish in December 2015. Further information on the Leicester-based Research Associate who will assist me on the project will be published in a press release next month.

2) CascEff Website launched

Further information on CascEff can be found on the project website:Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 09.47.21

3) CascEff on Twitter

CascEff is now on Twitter – please follow the official Twitter account for updates on the project.

About the Project:

CascEff – “Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations” is performed and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union (SEC-2013.4.1-2).