Online Media as a Means to Affect Public Trust in Emergency Responders

Amanda Lee Hughes, Apoorva Chauhan

ABSTRACT

This exploratory study examines how fire and police departments used online media during the 2012 Hurricane Sandy and how these media can be used to affect trust with members of the public during such an event. Using trust theory, we describe how online communications provide a means for emergency responders to appear trustworthy through online acts of ability, integrity, and benevolence. We conclude with implications and recommendations for emergency response practice and a trajectory of future work.

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