University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 29.11: Developing disaster preparedness education via broadcast media and community involvement (Romo-Murphy)

Start date: Nov 29, 2014 12:00 AM

End date: Nov 29, 2014 03:00 PM

Location: Seminaarinmäki, S212

Eila Romo-Murphy. Kuva: Sanna Vatanen.Lic.Ph. Eila Romo-Murphy defends her doctoral dissertation in Organizational Communication & Public Relations. Opponent Adjunct Professor Johanna Sumial (University of Helsinki) and custos Professor Marita Vos (University of Jyväskylä). Lectio is in Finnish but otherwise the event is in English.


This dissertation explores disaster preparedness education of communities in Indonesian earthquake-prone areas and identifies critical factors for developing media campaigns and educational programmes for disaster preparedness. Stakeholder enabling is applied in examining the management of disaster preparedness communication and education, which takes place between the community, the broadcast media, and civic organisations. The social network contagion approach is applied for defining risk, and for reacting to risk in the community. A social constructionist perspective is brought into play to scrutinize risk perception in a cultural context. The information horizon framework is applied to investigate the information seeking practices of community members involved in disaster preparedness.

In recent years, the focus on crisis communication has moved from the response and recovery stage to a preparatory stage, while at the same time crisis and risk communication are equated as continuum. This study centers on the broadcast media and its role facilitating and strengthening community resilience in coping with disasters.

The article-based part of this dissertation is compiled using empirical data from a survey, focus groups, and key informant interviews conducted in Indonesian communities. Information Horizon map drawing was utilized in investigating the information behaviour related to earthquake preparedness. In addition, a literature review investigates current trends extracted from disaster preparedness literature.

In conclusion, the learning process for disaster preparedness takes place within the shared context of various stakeholders, from dialogue between the stakeholders, and from within the web of relationships of each stakeholder. The media campaign model, constructed on the basis of existing empirical studies, depicts the significance of community involvement in the procurement of knowledge, skills and attitudes affecting and molding disaster preparedness. New light is shed on the role of the broadcast media, especially radio, as a participatory agent involving the community in a learning process, which can effectively strengthen disaster preparedness education, and ultimately bolster resilience.

The dissertation is published in the series Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities number 236, 182 p., Jyväskylä 2014, ISSN: 1459 4323, ISBN: 978 951 39 5948 7. It is available in the University Library Publications Unit, tel. 040 805 3825,

Available E-publication:

Keywords: disaster preparedness education, radio, resilience, community.

  • Further information:

Eila Romo-Murphy, tel.+358 503757147,

Communications intern Birgitta Kemppainen, tel.+358 40 805 4483,