Bergen Media Use Research Group
News in crisis situations

Ritual check-in, shocked immersion, regained stability

New paper by Hallvard Moe, Torgeir Uberg Nærland and Brita Ytre-Arne discusses people’s news experiences before, during and after societal crisis situations.

Image of pandemic on screen
Patrick Assalé, Unsplash.com

Main content

Ritual check-in, shocked immersion, regained stability: A sequential typology of news experiences in crisis situations was published in July 2023 in Media, Culture & Society. Discussing news experiences in crisis situations, the paper contributes with a sequential typology outlining the three phases 1) ritual check-in, 2) shocked immersion and 3) regained stability.

Theoretically, it draws on classical contributions to media studies and sociology, particularly the concepts of ritual communication and ontological security. Empirically, it builds on qualitative interview studies with news audiences in Norway, spanning 5 years and different crisis cases including political turmoil, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

We underline the significance of emotional distancing to regain stability, and identify crises lacking start- and endpoints as particularly difficult to navigate. These insights should instigate further debate about our understanding of news audiences in a tumultuous world, particularly relevant to scholarship on news use and avoidance.

The article is partly funded by the Research Coucil of Norway via the project MUCS - Media use in crisis situations | University of Bergen (uib.no).

Read the full article online.