Date

12-2009

Degree Name

BS in Journalism

Department

Journalism Department

Advisor(s)

Doug Swanson, Ed.D

Abstract

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August of 2005, many were left without shelter and in need of immediate federal assistance. This presented many public organizations with a crisis that they weren't properly prepared to respond to, both in the literal sense and in their public image management preparation. The United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Response Agency were two of these agencies that received criticism from the public and in the press about their lack of a timely response to the disaster. A content analysis of a local newspaper from New Orleans and a national newspaper shows that the amount of negative coverage of these two agencies increased after the disaster. This evidence supports the claim that the agencies' public images were negatively impacted from the disaster. Recommendations are provided for how organizations should properly prepare for crisis situations before and after a possible incident in order to best survive the situation.

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