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Volume 21 Issue 11 (November 2011)

GSA Today

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Article, pp. 36–38 | Full Text | PDF 1.4MB)


Killer waves on the airwaves: New media, traditional media, and student conceptualization of tsunamis

Cinzia Cervato1*

1 Iowa State University, Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA

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This paper addresses the hypothesis that, after 26 Dec. 2004, media coverage, and more specifically “new media,” affected students’ understanding of, and interest in, tsunamis. To test this hypothesis, 13 years of media reports on tsunamis were reviewed and 146 students surveyed regarding their knowledge of the phenomenon in the aftermath of the 11 March 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.


Manuscript received 8 Apr. 2011; accepted 20 July 2011

doi: 10.1130/G127GW.1