Newswire versus social media for disaster response and recovery

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“Newswire versus social media for disaster response and recovery” by Rakesh Verma, Samaneh Karimi, Daniel Lee, Omprakash Gnawali, and Azadeh Shakery. In Proceedings of 2019 Resilience Week (RWS 2019), Nov. 2019.


In a disaster situation, first responders need to quickly acquire situational awareness and prioritize response based on the need, resources available and impact. Can they do this based on digital media such as Twitter alone, or newswire alone, or some combination of the two? We examine this question in the context of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. We propose a method to link tweets and newswire, so that we can compare their key characteristics: timeliness, whether tweets appear earlier than their corresponding newswires, and content. Whenever possible, we present both quantitative and qualitative evaluations. One of our main findings is that tweets and newswire articles provide complementary perspectives that form a holistic view of the disaster situation. Another finding is that during the Nepal earthquake, significant information of earthquake-related news appeared on Twitter before newswire. Our results also show that 9.08% of the tweets published before their matched newswire contain actionable information regarding the Nepal earthquake.

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {Rakesh Verma and Samaneh Karimi and Daniel Lee and Omprakash
	Gnawali and Azadeh Shakery},
   title = {Newswire versus social media for disaster response and recovery},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of 2019 Resilience Week (RWS 2019)},
   month = nov,
   year = {2019}