This study uses a structural functional perspective in examining the form and function of questions in a presidential disaster press conference on May 27, 2010 about the Deepwater BP Oil Spill. Clayman and Heritage (2002) proposed a framework to examine the questions and responses in a press conference while Fisher (1991) offered a method to study media function. These were both applied to the disaster press conference. Findings were used to develop recommendations for public officials and PIOs in working with the media. Despite the fact that this case suggests an adversarial relationship between public officials and the media, public officials need to focus on public information needs in meeting with the press. In addition to questions about the reasons and impact of the disaster, public officials need to be prepared to respond to questions about accountability and responsibility for disasters.
- media coverage of disasters,
- disaster press conference,
- question form and function
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/john_fisher/18/