Needs and Flows of Information on Daily-life
after the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
Faculty of Sociology,Toyo University,Hakusan 5-28-20,
College of Humanities,Matsuyama University,
Bunkyo-cho 4-2,Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture 790
Paper Presented at the 14th World Congress of Sociology, Montreal, Canada, July 31, 1998
The Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 17th January, 1995 destroyed almost all functions of daily life of the residents in Kobe City and adjacent communities. The information wanted by the citizens in the affected area changed day by day after the earthquake. In order to fulfil the needs for information, various media from locally distributed leaflets to the mass media such as newspapers, radio and television delivered variety of information. The emerging new media such as internet, fax or mobile phones were also used by the officials, volunteer groups and the individuals, although they were not always quickly available in the disaster-stricken communities. Each of these media have their own unique characteristics and are expected to be used in a proper situation for the proper purposes.
- The purpose of this paper is to explore the functions or dysfunctions of the various local media played at the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake , by analyzing the content of several major printed or handwritten media circulated in Kobe City from 17th January to 31th March, 1995, from quick response to the recovery period. This study was originally conducted with the research fund of the Ministry of Education ( in detail, see Mikami and Nakamura, 1998).
1.1 Media Environment in the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
The media environment in Japan at the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake was quite different from the one at the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 which devastated more than 140,000 lives. In 1923, there were no TV and no radio broadcast. The newspapers were not available for several days after the earthquake in Tokyo and Yokohoma due to the heavy damage of the newspaper companies. As a result, the malignant grapevine rumors spread like wildfire and resulted in hostile outburst against minority citizens.
In the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, almost all kinds of media were available from TV and radio broadcast to the national and local newspapers, and to the internet. Although some radio stations and local newspaper companied suffered from damage in their facilities and were obliged to suspend the disseminating news for a short period, they were recovered soon and no serious delay were recorded in trasmitting the message to the citizens. However, in terms of the information wanted most by the local residents in heavilly damaged area, the established local media such as local newspapers or local radio stations could not always fulfil the information needs of the residents. As a result, hundreds of new emergent community media such as handmade leaflets or small papers were published by the volunteer groups who helped the homeless people in shelters and other affected residents. Also a mini-FM station, called "FM Yoboseyo" was set up by a volunteer group in Nagata-ku, Kobe city to inform and assist the minorities and foreign residents living there.
Some local newspapers and local government also set up an emergent form of the information services for the community residents to disseminate information on lifelines and other daily-life matters. These local-oriented media, we define here "MCM"(Mini Communication Media), played an important role in assisting the recovery and restoration from the earthquake disaster. The media environment in the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake can be mapped on the two dimensional space, as shown in Fig. 1. The vertical dimension signifies the area of distribution or service, ranging from "national" or "global" to "regional" of "local". The horizontal axis represent the organizational structure of the media, ranging from "established" to "emergent". The latter dimension took the model from the typology of organization in disaster developed by Quarantelli (1966) and Dynes(1970).
Local publicity papers
Fig.1 Mapping the media In the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
The purpose of the present research is to clarify the media environment, information needs, and distributed contents of the local media in the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and to develop a theoretical and practical framework for evaluating the functions of media in devastating earthquake disasters in urban area. The final goal of this study is to provide effective guidelines for the media practitioners to choose adequate media and information.
1.2 Information needs after the earthquake
According to the survey conducted by the Institute of Socio-Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tokyo (ISICS, 1996), which was carried out to 699 citizens of Kobe City and 502 citizens of Nihinomiya City in Hyogo Prefecture in 1995, the citizens wanted information after a week from the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake especially about "aftershock information", "restoration of the lifeline utilities" , "information on bathhouse", "transportation or traffic information" "information on food or water supply", "safety of their residence (house)" and "resources of daily living" (see Table 1.1). It should be noted that six out of these seven informations they wanted most were relating to restorating or maintaining daily-life of the affected citizens. It shows that the needs for the information relating to daily life were quite prominent after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
1.2 Method of Content Analysis
In this paper, we analyzed the contents of sixteen local printed media which were circulating in the Kobe City and adjacent communities from January 17th to March 31th, for about eleven weeks, focusing on the information citizens wanted for restoring and maintaining daily-life after the earthquake.
In order to do content analysis of the sixteen different printed media, we constructed a common coding categories for enabling the comparison of the data across different media. We set 36 main categories of information wanted by the residents after the earthquake, and set subcategories in the four major categories ;"housings", "consultation", "wisdom of life", and the "lifeline utilities". The list of main and subcategories is shown in Table 1.2.
Table 1.1 Information wanted by the residents a week after the Hanshin-AwajiEarthquake (Survey by the ISICS, University of Tokyo, 1995)
Table 1.2 Coding Categories and illustration for each category
|Information wanted (multiple choice)
|Scale or epicenter of the earthquake
Danger of Tsunami
Overall damage of earthquake
Safety of family or friends
Danger of fire
Relief medicare of injured citizens
Reposing rooms and funerals
Restoration of the lifeline utilities
Transportation or traffic information
Information on the resources of citizen life
Information on gas stations opening
Information on stores opening
Information on medicines
Location of public phones
Safety of the residence (home)
Place of emergency evacuation
Information on hazardous place
Location of the public rest rooms
Foods or medicare for the pet animals
Waste or debris disposal
Information on banking andfinancing
Information on the entrance examinations
Information on schools or place of works
Place of allocating food and water supply
Information of the bathhouse
Information on rumors
Information on accomodations
Information on outside the city
Countermeasures taken by the City Office
Countermeasures taken by the Prefecture
Countermeasures taken by government
Mass Media reporting of the disaster
|Total number of respondents (=100.0%)
- Main Categories Sub Categories and Illustrations
- 01 Store on business Various stores, bank, or gas stations available
- 02 Medical care Hospitals, clinics, and medicines available
- 03 Mental care Counselors or psychiatrists available
- 04 Job or labor Job available, labor insurance
- 05 Bath Public bathhouse or spa vailable
- 06 Free Food Service
- 07 Weather information
- 08 Volunteer Raising, entrusting volunteers
- 09 Personal safety Schools, groups, or individuals
02 Temporary house
03 Permanent house
04 Real estate
- 10 Residence [Sub Categories] 01 Shelters
Use the number of 01-36 main categories.
Consultation for foreigners is coded as 11.
- 11 Consultation [Sub Categories]
- 12 Event Concert, Movie, other events
- 13 Laundromat (Coin Laundry)
- 14 Financing Loans, stipend, or moratorium
- 15 Funeral Funeral, keeping cremains
- 16 Wisdom of living [Sub Categories] 01 Clothing
- 17 Traffic Trains, buses, or ships available.
- 18 Education Schedule of Schools, Colleges and Universities
02 Gas supply
03 Water supply
05 Garbage, recycle
- 19 Lifeline [Sub Categories] 01 Electricity supply
- 20 Telephones Restoration, temporary phones, etc.
- 21 Information Service Broadcast, Fax Info, Voice Mail, etc.
- 22 Insurance
- 23 Tax
- 24 Economy & price
- 25 Contribution
- 26 Social Welfare Home relief, welfare for disabled, pension
- 27 Municipal service Registration, issuance of certificates,etc.
- 28 Debris clearance
- 29 Discount sale
- 30 Tourism
- 31 Pet
- 32 Restoration
- 33 Human stories
- 34 Free services
- 35 Laws
- 36 Other
Several trained graduate students of the Communication Research Course coded the assigned newspapers,leaflets(MCM), and fax newsletters. Two authors checked all data with the original documents. The data were statistically tabulated and processed using Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and SPSS for Windows.
- One of the most prominent aspects of the disaster reportings at the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake was that both national and local newspapers featured "Daily Life Information" pages for the affected people. Updated news on housings, casualties, medical cares, transportation, education, commodities, bathhouses, consultations , and other information needed by the local affected residents were provided on the special pages everyday after the earthquake. We focused on these pages and conducted content analysis of the articles on the Kobe Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun Osakain in order to clarify the actual flows of the information needed by the residents. In this paper, we report the result of content analysis of the Kobe Shimbun.
2.1 Kobe Shimbun
The Kobe Shimbun is a local newspaper in Kobe area, with the history of almost one hundred years, and has the largest circulation in the area. At the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the headquarter building in downtown Kobe City collapsed and the newspaper manufacturing system was severely damaged. Fortunately it could have emergency relief from the Kyoto Shimbun and could issue the news from the evening of the earthquake(Kobe Shimbun, 1995). The special featured page on the daily-life information for the affected residents, titled "Let's Cheer Up!: Disasster-related Information Page", was launched on January 21, four days after the disaster and continued more than three months since then. We analyzed the whole articles on this page from January 22 morning edition to March 31. Only the morning issues were analyzed in our study.
The unit of analysis was an article with independent headline as a rule. However, when the neighboring article belongs to the same coding category, we combined the two articles and counted them as a single article. This procedure is justified because we used only aggregate space or "area" as a unit of measure and did not use "frequency" of articles in analysing the data. The coders measured the area of each article with "column-cm" method (similar to "column-inch" method in USA). Also, each article was coded into one of the 36 categories and several subcategories from the pre-coded sheet.
2.2 Result of Content Analysis
- Figure 2.1 shows the aggregate area of each category included in all articles of the Kobe Shimbun. The largest space was given to the information of "traffic or transportation". Next comes the "human story", followed by "housings(dwellings)" and "consultation".
Figure 2.2 shows the area of subcategories regarding the "housing". Almost two-third of information on the housing was related to shelters . Figure 2.3 shows the area of subcategories relating to the consultations. The largest article on "consultation" was "general" and was not specific to certain topics. Consultation about "law" comes next, followed by "housings (dwellings)", "tax", "education" and "employment/labor".
- Figure 2.1 Space measured by aggregated area of categories (Kobe Shimbun)
Figure 2.2 Space measured by the subcategories regarding "housings"
Figure 2.3 Space of subcategories on consultation (the Kobe Shimbun)
- Figure 2.4 Space measured by subcategories of lifeline utilities (theKobe Shimbun)
Figure 2.4 shows the article on "lifeline utilities" measured by area of the subcategories. Information on water supply had the largest space whicn reflect the heavy damage and long delay for recovering the water supply in the affected area. However, it should be noted that although the damage of gas supply was heavier than water supply in the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the articles on gas supply was not provided enough on the Kobe Shimbun comparing with water supply (see Fig. 2.9).
RDMini Communication Media (MCM)
RDP Outline of MCM and Analytic method
- MCM(Mini Communication Media) are defined here as magazines or newspapers distributed to a relatively small number of people. After the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, many MCM were published in the disaster-struck area. Table3.1 shows the list of major MCM. Almost all the MCM were leaflets of A3 or B4(or legal)size and were printed by copying machines.
- Table3.1 MCM published after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake 1/17/95-3/31/95
*analytic subjects x not collected
|PDMCM published at refuge
*KOBE UNIV. NEWS
|volunteer at Kobe Univ
volunteer at Mikage
volunteer at Rokko
Kobe Univ. Press
|QDMCM published by local volunteer group
|volunteer at Chuo-ku
YMCA West Kobe
Japan Christian order
JOUHOKU SENKO Co.
|RDNewspaper Special Extra Edition published by newspaper company
|*YOMIURI of Mobile
SANKEI SHIMBUN C
- There are three kinds of MCM. (1)MCM published at the shelters(such as gymnasiums or schools).Victims or volunteers published them for people in the shelters. (2)MCM published by local volunteer groups which were active in cities or wards. (3)Newspaper Extra Edition published by newspaper companies. These were made, not by normal editing systems, but by the business department and by the customer center of the newspaper companies as a volunteer activity. this three-fold typology was the modified version of Maruyama's four typologies(Maruyama,1995).
- Our analytic subjects were ten kinds of the MCM: "HINAN SHIMBUN", "ROKKOU STEP", "KOBE UNIV. NEWSPAPER EXTRA EDITION", "CHUO NANDEMO KAWARABAN","DAILY NEEDS","SUMA VOLUNTEER DAYORI","LIFE INFORMATION","LIFE LINE", "YOMIURI EXTRA EDITION of MOBILE BRANCH","SANKEI SPECIAL EXTRA EDITION".
RDQ The result of the analysis on MCM
- The analytic method is almost the same as in the case of the newspapers. The difference is that in case of MCM we counted the number of the articles of the life-related information instead of space(area). This is because was quite difficult to measure the area of an article in the MCM due to the irregular size and formats. As we did in the local newspaper, we counted an article with any independent headline as the smallest unit of analysis. If a similar article was followed by another, we counted them as one article article. Any one article was always classified into one main category, and we did not double-code. If an article contained multiple contents, and if it has the multiple small headwords, we regarded it as separate articles. Concerning the articles about "consultation" "residence" "life line", we further classified them into sub categories. In many cases, MCM's article included multiple sub categories. In such case, we didn't count the number of articles, but the number of pieces of information that are carried. In the case of "consultation " for example, when multiple different consulting windows were introduced within one article, we counted the number of consultation windowsD
- In MCM, the most frequently appeared article was about "consultations". The articles about "consultations" were more than any other articles in "ROKKOU STEP", "KOBE UNIV. NEWSPAPER EXTRA EDITION", "CHUO NANDEMO KAWARABAN", "LIFE INFORMATION", "LIFE LINE", "YOMIURI EXTRA EDITION of Mobile Branch". (fig.3.1-fig.3.4) During the investigation periods, the number of the articles regarding "consultations" did not change and kept a certain level. Regarding the sub categories of the "consultations", we found many information about " medical care", " mental care", " residence", "foreigner", "education", "insurance", "tax", "welfare", and "law". In these fields, the problems of residents were varied, and special knowledge was necessary for each of the solutions. We can estimate that MCM publishers depended on special consultation windows, because it was difficult for them MCM to treat these problems themselves. As various organizations opened the consultation windows in these fields in the early period of recovery, there were articles which introduced consultation windows. Therefore, there were many articles of consultations in MCM, but this did not always mean that the residents or evacuees seriously needed such kinds of information.
- The second frequently appeared pieces of information in all the MCM were regarding "residence" "bath" and "medical care".(fig.3.1-fig.3.4) Regarding sub categories of "residence", the information about "shelters" appeared most frequently in almost all the MCM. The introduced objects here were public residence of local governments outside the stricken area or vacant room of the general individual ("home stay"). Because immediately after the earthquake, the season of entrance examinations had just began, many information on home stay for students were provided on MCM. Because the residences of many people received heavy damage, and 310,000 people at the maximum were living at public shelters, the "residence" was clearly one of the largest interest for the affected residents.
- The destruction of the houses might be one reason, but mainly the destroyed lifeline such as water or gas supply caused the need for some information as "bath" service. Regionally, the outage of water and gas supply lasted until the April. Since it was a cold season, a need of bathing was less serious than in a summer season. However, it should be notice that in order to keep cleanliness and to recover the fatigue, bathing seemed indispensable to most Japanese residents. Similar to the newspaper and the radio, MCM were quite eager to introduced the public bathes that were available.
Fig3.1 Number of the article ("HINAN SHIMBUN","ROKKO STEP","KOBE UNIV. NEWS")
- In the information of "medical care " MCM mainly introduced hospitals that could give medical treatment. Not only injury at the earthquake but also medical troubles of individuals (chronic disease for example) needed medical care. And information on distribution of food for allergic patient and on supply of medicines for diabetics were also often given.
- Some MCM contain many articles on, "Stores on business","Laundromat" ,"free food service", "free service" ,"event", and "volunteer". ("stores on business" fig.3.3,fig.3.2; "Laundromat" fig.3.3; "warm food" fig.3.1,fig.3.2; "free distribution" fig.3.3; "event" fig.3.3 ;"volunteer" fig.3.3)
- Of course the residents wanted information on "stores on business" for daily needs, but this kind of information was also important for rehabilitation of stores and self-reliance of victims. According such information, volunteers could terminate the free distribution of the goods which were already available at the stores. Mass media and publicity paper couldn't give the information of stores, because the number
Fig.3.2 Number of the articles i"DAILY NEEDS","LIFE INFORMATION"(YMCA)j
was too large to list up. However, MCM were targeting narrow local areas and so they could give this kind of information. The information on Laundromats was especially useful, because water supply had been stopped for a long time and there were few washing machines available at the shelters. "Free food service" and "free service" were executed in many places in the affected area. MCM were effective to disseminate such kind of information. "Free food service" had two functions; originally for nutrition and secondarily for entertainment. A free distribution of clothes and a free haircut were main programs in the "free service". However there was also unreliable information to just draw customer' attention, for example "glasses lens for free", inside the "free service".
- Fig.3.3 Number of the articlesi"CHUO NANDEMO..","SUMA VOLUNTEER..","LIFE LINE"j
- There were two kind of information on "volunteers" .One was to recruit volunteers, and the other was to introduce the services that the volunteers provided. The latter might be especially valid for the residents. Putting things in order in the rooms, scooping water, finding valuables under the debris, stretching a seat for a naked roof were the works done by volunteer group. And these were welcomed especially by the aged and the handicapped. Many publishers also served volunteer activities, so they could easily get such information on volunteers.
- Fig. 3.4 Number of the article("SANKEI SPECIAL EXTRA","YOMIURI EXTRA")
- Although there was only one MCM, "CHUO NANDEMO KARARABAN", which picked up the information regarding recycling frequently, we think this kind of information was quite useful for the residents. On the one hand many people lost the household goods by the earthquake disaster, on the other hand the useful objects were invented by the relocation. The most needed tool at shelter was washing machine.
- On the other hand, the information on maintaining minimum life condition immediately after the disaster(eg. the location and the time of water and food distribution, the location of refuges) and, the information whose sources were outside the local area (eg. information about water supply, gas supply, telephone service, and traffic) was not given by the MCM. Because the most of the MCM started publishing two or three weeks after the earthquake, they couldn't satisfy the needs for such information. Also they couldn't supply the information on life line utilities enough, because of the shortage of the news gathering. As for this kind of information, secondary information from mass media might be effective.
SDMunicipal publicity papers
- In Japan, almost all the local governments issue periodical publicity papers for their residents usually in a monthly interval. After the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, many local governments(Hyogo Prefecture, cities and towns) which were severely damaged published special issues for the affected local residents in shorter interval than usual. Table 4.1 shows some examples of publicity papers issued by local governments during the aftermath period. In this study we analyzed four different publicity papers and fax newsletters issued by Hyogo Prefecture and of Kobe City:"SHINSAI NEWS", "LIFE INFORMATION THROUGH FAX NETWORK", "KOBE
*KOBE PUBLICITY PAPER
*LIFE INFORMATION FAX
ASHIYA PUBLICITY PAPER
Kobe Disaster Information on
PUBLICITY PAPER FOR EARTHQUAKE DISASTER" and "Disaster Information on Fax".
- Table 3.2 publicity papers published by the local governments
SDP SHINSAI NEWS", "LIFE INFORMATION THROUGH FAX NETWORK", "KOBE PUBLICITY PAPER"
- Every publicity papers transmitted information well about "consultation", "residence", "financing", and "medical care". Many more articles about financing were found compared with the case of the MCM. Two types of information were given in publicity papers. The first was the information on policy practiced by the local governments themselves. Such information was also given in normal publicity papers. Most of the information in "SINSAI NEWS" and " KOBE PUBLICITY PAPER FOR EARTHQUAKE DISASTER" was of this kind.
("SINSAI NEWS","LIFE INFORMATION FAX NETWORK")
- Fig.4.1 Number of the article
- Here information on the housing policy, financing, traffic was well transmitted (eg. the information about the setting of rescue stations of the public organizations, and the information on bus operated by Kobe city). The second was the information which the local administrative organizations collected by using their special knowledge or their advantageous positions. For example, Hyogo Daily-life Science Center, using it's knowledge of consumer consultation, informed well about house electricity products, insurance, and warning for dishonest business. The center transmitted this informations by FAX machines through a kind of VAN(value added network; called "F-NET") to all the shelters in disaster area. But the publicity papers did not transmit enough information other than these two categories(eg. about "store business", "hospital in business", "bath", "volunteer", "entertainment event").
Fig. 4.2 Number of the article ("KOBE PUBLICITY PAPER FOR EARTHQUAKE DISASTER")
4.2 Kobe Disaster Information on Fax
Kobe City PR section has been providing publicity information using Teletext, Telephone, Fax and Telecomputing network for the residents. At the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the city office decided to use this electronic network to inform the residents of the needed information in the recovery and reconstruction phase. The special fax information service, "Disaster Information on Fax", started on January 29th and continued for more than ten months. Users could draw specific information by choosing numbers from the main menu . The original main menu was as follows:
- 0 Updated information (Summary)
- 1 Life information (gas, water,etc)
- 2 Housing (Temporary housing, public apartment, etc)
- 3 Medical and Welfare infomation
- 4 Traffic/Transportation information
- 5 Environment (Garvage collection, debris clearance, etc)
- 6 Other
- 7 Telephon numbers for consultation
- 8 Kobe Publicity Paper (Copy)
Table 4.2 shows the statistics of actual usage of the Fax service from January 29 to March 31. From January to February, lifline information was most frequently used. In March the updated information and the copy of Kobe Publicity papers were frequently used.
Table 4.2 Statistics of the usage of the Fax information service (Kobe City)
Jan 29 - Feb 28 March 1 - March 31
1 Updated information 6,224 (13.6%) 4,433 (16.3%)
2 Life information 9,066 (19.9%) 3,735 (13.7%)
3 Housing information 2,581 ( 5.7%) 2,419 ( 8.9%)
4 Medical/Welfare info 2,730 ( 6.0%) 1,781 ( 6.5%)
5 Traffic/Transportation 4,886 (10.7%) 2,575 ( 9.5%)
6 Environment 3,407 ( 7.5%) 2,908 (10.6%)
7 Telephone number 2,700 ( 5.9%) 1,281 ( 4.7%)
8 Kobe Publicity Paper 4,408 ( 9.6%) 4,011 (14.7%)
(Kobe City PR Section, 1996)
- We analyzed all the original manuscripts of the fax newsletters provided from January 29 to March 31. The unit of analysis was an independent information piece classified into one category of the 36 items, the same as we used in the local papers and MCM. We measured the space of each article by counting "pages" it shared. For example, if an article shares one-fourth of a page, then we counted it as 0.25 (page).
- Figure 4.3 Space of articles on the Fax newsletters classified into 36 categories
Figure 4.3 shows the total space of each large category on the Kobe City Fax information. The largest space is given to the "housing(residence)". As Figure 4.4 shows, more than half of the housing information was on the temporary housings and only 4.2 % was on shelters. This proportion is quite contrasting to the Kobe Shimbun, where most articles were on the shelters.
- However, unlike newspapers or MCM, some of the Kobe City Fax information was not renewed everyday, in other words, some of the information from fax continued unchanged for several days until updated information came in and replaced the older one. We also counted these unchanged information and coded it as "old information", while updated information was coded "new information".
- The largest reason of this difference is that the Kobe City government was responsible for raising and managing the public temporary housings and they provided information on it. It should be noted, however, that there was a gap between the large quantitly of space given to the housings and the relatively small percentage of actual usage (Table 4.2). We should further examine whether the residents who really wanted this kind of information could use fax machines easily or not.
Figure 4.6 shows the percentage of sub-categories in the "lifelines". The largest space was given to the information on "gas supply" , followed by "water supply". This percentage is proportional to the actual needs by the residents, showing strong contrast with the Kobe Shimbun.
- Figure 4.5 compares the total space of "new" information with "old" information for each category. The largest space of "new" information was on "lifeline", followed by "traffic/transportation", "bath service", "medical care". We find positive ecorrelation between the space of "new" information and the actual quantity of usage (Table 4.2). The newer information were more likely to be used by the residents. This suggests the strong needs for "fresh" information regarding daily life matters.
Weekly change in the amount of "new" and "old" information on the kobe City Fax service is shown in Figure 4.7. It is intereting to note that the "new" or updated information remained at the low level through the investigation period, while the "old" information increased as time passed. This is the result that the older information was stored undeleted as the new information was added to the menu. Also it reflects the fact that only limited range of menu such as lifelines or traffic information was updated frequently and other most information was not updated for a long period.
In this study we analyzed locally distributed printed media which provided information on daily-life wanted by the residents in the earthquake stricken area at the early response and recovery period of the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. We now summarize our findings briefly here.
- The content analysis of the Kobe Shimbun shows that the information on the traffic or tranportation in Kobe area had the largest space in the 36 main categories. There are several reasons for this prominence. Firstly, the traffic information was actually very important for restoring urban life in Kobe area. Secondly, traffic information was updated everyday and was generally thought to be essentially important .Thirdly, in such big city as Kobe there were hundreds of public transportation facilities and most of them were severely damaged, therefore traffic or transportation-related information required much space on the page. However, comparing with other information which had higher demand such as lifeline restoration, the space allocated for traffic or transportation was rather exceeded than was necessary. Regarding the lifeline information, there was also some imbalance in coverage, that is , the information on the gas supply was not provided enough compared with the water supply. The information on "consultation" and "housing (residence)" was also heavily covered by the Kobe Shimbun. Relatively larger area of circulation than MCM influenced the contents of life-related information and resulted in the differnce from the MCM and municipal publicity media.
- As for the MCM and publicity papers, they provided the information about "consultations" and "residence (housing)" most frequently . However, unlike the newspapers MCM informed less about "traffic" and "education". And in the MCM, there were much information which was directly relating to everyday life (e.g. information on "bath", "medical care", "store", "Laundromat", "warm food", "free distribution") and also information about volunteers ("volunteer", and "event"). Because the MCM gave the information which was familier to the residents, there were much useful information included in them. Thus we think the MCM were more useful than the newspapers for the community residents or evacuees in shelters . In the publicity papers, there were many information about "financing", "traffic", and "administrative services". The publicity papers transmitted mostly the information on policy practiced by the local governments, and the information collected using their special knowledge and their positions. Also most information provided through Fax was not updated for a long time, thus lacked in freshness. So we think the information on publicity papers could not necessarily meet the needs of the affected citizens.
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