Information Vetting as a Key Component in Social-mediated Crisis Communication: An Exploratory Study

Public Relations Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Toronto, Canada, August 7-10, 2019.

Abstract: In order to understand publics’ information consumption behavior in current media environment, this study addresses how and why individuals vet information (or not) in crisis situations. Grounded in dual-process model and meta-cognition theory, an initial conceptual framework of crisis information vetting was outlined. An exploratory study, including four focus groups and 13 in-depth interviews, was conducted to investigate: 1) indicators of information vetting behavior according to participants’ self-reported experience; and 2) what motivate and what prohibit participants from engaging themselves emotionally and cognitively in the process of crisis information vetting. Our qualitative data provided evidence for a two-step process of crisis information vetting, namely, primary vetting and secondary vetting. A total of 48 vetting behavior indicators were further rendered, which serve as a strong content base for future scale development and further conceptual model refinement.

Xuerong Lu  Yan Jin  Taeyeon Kim 

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