Telling the Columbia Story: Source Selection in News Accounts of a Shuttle Accident

TitleTelling the Columbia Story: Source Selection in News Accounts of a Shuttle Accident
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSumpter, RS, Garner, JT
JournalScience Communication
Volume28
Pagination455-475
Date Published2007
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number15528545
Keywordscolumns , crisis , etc. , EXPLORATION , JOURNALISM , NASA , New , news , NEWSPAPER , NEWSPAPERS , OUTER , sources , Space , the , United
AbstractThis content analysis of newspaper stories seeks to answer three questions about the Columbia space shuttle disaster: What sources did journalists cite in telling the Columbia story? What did those sources say? Which sources were heard most often? Sources most often communicated "neutral" facts and observations while not placing blame for the accident or evaluating the shuttle program's progress. Astronauts and their relatives, NASA contractors who built and maintained the shuttle fleet, and government accident investigators from agencies other than NASA or the Columbia Accident Investigation Board rarely appeared in the stories. Journalistic routines call for reporters to balance their story narratives with sources representing different viewpoints. In the Columbia story, however, this was not necessarily the case. 
NotesSumpter, Randall S. 1; Email Address: r-sumpter@tamu.edu Garner, Johny T. 2; Affiliation: 1: Department of Communication, Texas A&M University, 4234 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4234. 2: Texas A&M University, College Station.; Source Info: Jun2007, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p455; Subject Term: SPACE shuttles; Subject Term: SPACE vehicle accidents; Subject Term: NEWSPAPERS -- Headlines; Subject Term: NEWSPAPER sections, columns, etc.; Subject Term: JOURNALISM; Subject Term: OUTER space; Subject Term: EXPLORATION; Subject Term: UNITED States; Author-Supplied Keyword: crisis reporting; Author-Supplied Keyword: NASA; Author-Supplied Keyword: news disaster; Author-Supplied Keyword: sources; Author-Supplied Keyword: space shuttle; Company/Entity: UNITED States. National Aeronautics & Space Administration; Reviews & Products: NEW York Times, The (Newspaper); NAICS/Industry Codes: 519110 News Syndicates; NAICS/Industry Codes: 927110 Space Research and Technology; Number of Pages: 21p; Document Type: Article
DOI10.1177/10755470073022306

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