Media coverage of disasters is often pervasive, continuous, and intense. Because media use has been found to influence the way that individuals view the world, it is worth reviewing how such coverage affects children who do not directly experience a disaster. This article reviews what is known about how disaster coverage in traditional media (i.e., newspapers, television) and new media (i.e., Internet, cell phones) impacts youth who do not directly experience the disaster. To date, the impact of new media disaster coverage on youth has received little attention in the scientific literature. However, by considering what is known about how traditional media disaster coverage impacts youth and combining that knowledge with an understanding of the specific structure of new media, this article is able to provide new media usage recommendations for parents and clinicians to utilize with children following a disaster. This article also discusses potential positive outcomes that could result when youth are exposed to media disaster coverage.
Houston, Brian, and Betty Pfefferbaum, Gil Reyes. 2008. "Experiencing Disasters Indirectly: How Traditional and New Media Disaster Coverage Impacts Youth." The Prevention Researcher (January): 14-17. http://www.tpronline.org/article.cfm/Experiencing_Disasters_Indirectly