Social Media and Disaster Communication: A Case Study of Cyclone Winston
Pacific Journalism Review , 24(1), pp. 123-137, 2018
15 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 31, 2018
This article presents an analysis of how social media was used during Tropical Cyclone Winston, the strongest recorded tropical storm that left a wake of destruction and devastation in Fiji during February 2016. Social media is increasingly being used in crises and disasters as an alternative form of communication. Social media use in crisis communication varies according to the context, the disaster and the maturity of social media use. Fiji’s experience during TC Winston contributes to the growing literature as it shows how social media was used during each stage of a disaster in a developing country. The article finds that before the cyclone, people used social media to share information about the cyclone and to be informed about the cyclone. During the cyclone, individuals used social media to share their experiences with some citizens capturing the cyclone as it happened and even one citizen live-tweeted her ordeal during the cyclone. Finally, following the cyclone, the hashtag #StrongerThanWinston was coined as a rallying point to bolster a sense of national solidarity.
Keywords: Crisis Response, Cyclone Winston, Cyclones, Fiji, Disaster Communication, Pacific Islands, Social Media
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation