Social media has become a prime public source for information on risk and crisis. For those seeking to manage risk and crisis communication, it is vital to grasp what is going on in social media in this regard and to engage in dialogue with stakeholders b efore a crisis occurs. There is a need to understand how the dynamics of social and traditional media play out against each other in what has been called a 'hybrid media ecology'. And there is a need to understand how dialogue on risk and crisis can work under these circumstances seeking enlightened choices in the public sphere.
The unique approach of the main project is to link the risk and crisis research on social media with theories on dialogue and stakeholder engagement. The latter literature provid es important insights in to how dialogue can be conceptualized addressing such aspects as mutuality, propinquity, empathy, risk and commitment.
Through international comparative research in Norway, the US, Germany and Singapore, the project will identif y the challenges and the opportunities the technology presents for dialogue in risk and crisis situations, and provide information about how authorities use or can use social media to create dialogue and share information between themselves and the public before, during and after crisis situations.