News and Media Research Centre
University of Canberra
Building 9, Level C, Room 10
UC researcher: How do people use social media to find and share information in an emergency?
By Elly Mackay
21 July 2023: A researcher from the University of Canberra is aiming to improve social media communications to affected residents in times of natural disasters and emergencies.
Sue Atkinson, from the University’s News and Media Research Centre (N&MRC), is completing a PhD exploring how people find and share information, and create networks and multiple levels of information sharing during emergencies — and social media is a critical component. By better understanding how these networks form, communication between communities and response agencies can be improved.
Ms Atkinson will survey and interview community members who experienced either the 2022 floods in Brisbane or the 2019-20 bushfire season in the Eurobodalla Shire in NSW, about how and where they sought information during those events.
She’ll then use the data to map out how information flows within communities and how social media might be used more effectively in future disasters.