The role of the media during a disaster


During and soon after the Colectiv crisis (fire in a Bucharest nightclub which cost many lives), the media took on several roles: reporting on what was happening, highlighting instances of social solidarity and acting as a watchdog to point out the abuses and irregularities which caused the fire. In its watchdog capacity, the media focused either on abuses committed by the club owners and local authorities, who were in charge with authorizing the functioning of the club or, much later and in far fewer cases, on mistakes committed by rescuers. Moreover, one has to mention that in the vast majority of articles analysed, the journalists did not assume an active voice but chose to convey their message through the choices to present specific material and to exclude others and through the choice of persons they covered.

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