In Task 4.2, entitled “Citizens’ Involvement and Ethics”, COSMIC seeks to examine the opportunities, risks (threats), and ethical issues that are brought about by utilization of new media technologies during crises. Additionally, through this task, COSMIC aims to detail the potential consequences, for individuals and the society, of the threats and ethical issues that arise from utilization of new media technologies during crisis.
With respect to the opportunities that new media technologies present in crisis management, this report (chapter 2) argues that such technologies can potentially enhance mobilization of and coordination among various stakeholders during a crisis. The report also argues that realization of this potential hinge on the extent to which new media technologies are consistently and widely adopted during emergencies.
“COSMIC (Contribution of Social Media in Crisis Management) project partners MixLab at Koç University and Hellenic Rescue Team has drafted a report on Citizens’ Involvement in Emergency Communications. The report seeks to examine the various roles that citizens may have in communications during emergencies. Also, the report maps the relationship between the use of different types of media and communication technologies—including mass media, as well as new media technologies—and citizens’ involvement in emergency communications as,
- potential or actual volunteers (first responders) who may aid emergency response and rescue;
- as social activists who may utilise online networks to organise, coordinate, collaborate or mobilise during political crises; and
- as citizens who report on emergencies and political crises.
With respect to the role that citizens may play as first responders, the report focuses on how various communication media are utilised by response organisations and government agencies to identify, recruit, network with and train citizens. In order to accomplish this goal, the partners engaged in an in-depth analysis of citizen awareness programs and volunteer recruitment and training processes in four different countries: Turkey, Italy, United Kingdom, and Greece.
The report also discusses social activism as a form of citizen involvement in crises (predominantly political crises). Particularly, the section on social activism discusses how social activist formations use media to recruit members and/or form networks, communicate ideas, and coordinate action.
Finally, regarding the role that citizens can play as reporters/journalists during emergencies and crises, discuss issues related to news selection processes, types of coverage (commentary vs. news), types of sources used by citizen journalists and citizen journalists’ perceptions regarding issues like reliability of information. In order to do so, the report summarises findings from a content analysis of the articles published by citizens who reported about four emergencies/crises and online interviews conducted with a sample of citizens whose reports were content analysed.
Click here for a copy of the report.”
My personal comments and acknowledgements
I believe we have done a good job here. Having been involved in this project for about five months has surely contributed to my understanding of the field. I would like to thank my supervisor and colleagues for their work on the immense quality and outstanding content in this draft. I am truly happy that I am taking part in this project, and looking forward to the work that will follow.