Beyond Basics: The Emerging Functions of Mass Media in Times of Natural Calamities

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Abstract

This quantitative-qualitative study focused on the emerging functions of the major forms of mass media in times of natural calamities and commercialization. It specifically discusses the emerging functions of mass media during the period of typhoon Ondoy.

Self-administered surveys were conducted to 160 randomly selected Cainta, Rizal households, aged 18-75 years. The selection of respondents was done through multi-staged random sampling, household being the study’s units of analysis. Kish Grid was also used in order to randomly select the respondent from each household. After the survey, focus interviews were also conducted in order to generate thicker descriptions of the variables and themes.

This study revealed that: (1) television and Internet are the most used kinds of media; (2) respondents and informants use these media to obtain information and to be entertained; (3) media also assumed unusual functions in times of natural calamities, (4) commercialization among media networks and natural calamities affect the functions the media serves in society; and lastly (5) Philippine media perform alternative functions in times of natural calamities such as providing material and financial needs, encouraging bayanihan, upholding social unity, social utility. These functions of media are unusual but are not new; they emerge because of the profit-driven nature of media companies.

Borja, C. J. S., Librada, S.P.S. (2010). Beyond Basics: The Emerging Functions of Mass Media in Times of Natural Calamities, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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Subject Index: Natural disasters, Mass media, Television, Internet