From crisis to news: media to the rescue

Disasters are dictated primarily by mass media: An interdisciplinary overview

There are crises that develop gradually, such as an economic decline or soaring inflation, but sometimes they strike unprepared. The difference between gradual and erupting types of crises is not only the psychological, but also the institutional degree of preparedness. As communication scholars, we have a unique interest in the latter, for, as we argue, the toppling of the status quo is paralleled by a coup d’état, in which media takes control while the powers-that-be are nowhere to be seen, either because they are busy taking cover or they simply can’t respond in time.

Tamar Liebes

Tamar Liebes is professor and chair of the Department of Media and Journalism at the Hebrew University and holds the Carl and Matilda Newhouse Chair in Communication. She has published extensively in the fields of media, audiences, war, terror and public memory.

Menahem Blondheim

Menahem Blondheim teaches communication and history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and heads the university’s Smart Family Institute of Communications. He earned his MA and PhD from Harvard University and is also a consultant, scientific manager and vice president in the high-tech industry and is an analyst for Israeli Television.