1 The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University2 Knowledge Production and Communication, The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University3 Magt, Medier og Kommunikation, Administration Department of Roskilde University, Roskilde University
Title of paper: Crisis communication practices and their consequences for risk communication There is a close coverage of disasters in modern western societies in the media. And there is a growing expectation that authorities handle the tasks of crisis communication in certain ways. The first aim of this paper is to show, that the communication practices about the consequences of a disaster tend to focus on the individual citizen’s situation, and include the psychological consequences and suffering to a large degree. At least for a while. Then the debates and discussions about the event change from concern and care about the people affected towards discussions about e.g. cause, responsibility or even guilt. The second aim of the paper is to discuss other ways for a society to come to terms with risks that leads to disastrous situations than through the topics mentioned above, and as well how authorities can contribute to the inclusion of other issues in dialogues about risks. What possibilities and constrains can be identified in order to create alternative discussions? How can topics often excluded be broad into the debate? The analysis of the communication practices in relation to a technological disaster on Danish ground is based on both media texts and qualitative interviews.