The Deliberate Seeking of Risk

This chapter aims to present the five frames developed by Holli A. Semetko and Patti M. Valkenburg (2000), to have a clear understanding on the news reports about the eruption of Mount Mayon. Various related literature is also explained in this chapter namely: media coverage of natural disasters, online news media, disaster tourism, and adventure tourism.

Media coverage of natural disasters

It is through news media that most people become aware of disasters. Media influences audience perception on how to grasp hazards, probabilities of disasters, unfolding issues and what actions to take during an emergency or crisis (Ndolu, 2013).

The news media plays a vital role in defining our consciousness of emergencies and catastrophes. The general public tends to lean towards media in times of catastrophes (Elliott, 1989; Rozario, 2007; Wilkins, 1985) as cited in Stormberg (2012).

News institutions become the principal origin of information whenever a disaster would occur in far locations as they unravel every aspect of the catastrophe from the beginning (Franks, 2013). The general public often utilizes television or the internet to search for the latest, up to date, information about the number of casualties and devastations (Stormberg, 2012).

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In the western context, Cottle (2014) contended by utilizing the analyses of Hurricane Katrina, a shift of events was observed that from a local scene, the incident reached the international level due to the development of new media. Kodrich and Laituri (2005 as cited in Hoon et al 2015) addressed that the rapid growth of modern technology, which is interactive in its own accord, has taken a drastic shift and altered the way media delivers disaster reporting, which caused the media to take 'an active humanitarian role' than its traditional function.

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In the tourism research, Walters et. al. (2016) noted that a sensationalized media reportage of disastrous events may have negative effects on an image of a destination and they have analyzed how a disaster-stricken location is portrayed by the media. The Blue Mountains Bushfires, which was a minor disaster incident that happened in 2011 in New South Wales, was used as the context of the said examination and 260 print and online news reports were analyzed. Based on their results, (Walters et al, 2016) established that due to the portrayal and/or misleading representation of the media of this certain disaster, it may have been a contributing factor to the estimated loss of travel-related revenue amounting US $100 million.

The rise of online news has posed a challenge to the traditional mass media specifically in the production routine and delivery style. Greenberg and Scanlon (2016) noted that online news websites have evolved into relevant references of information during catastrophic events and has dominated over traditional media namely print, television, and radio as the primary source of emergency details.

The reason why most people rely on online news is that of its convenience. (Kang, 2009). Some of the elements that affect individuals to adopt and perceive the media as positive could be the convenience of use, content richness, the abundance of information that are immediate, multimedia effects, and broader participation opportunities online (Nguyen & Western, 2008).

Online News Media

It was fundamental to adequately maximize the use of mass media, which is the primary source for major travel references for visitors such as the traditional media, which are television, newspaper, and radio, or the digital platform: the Internet (Fodness & Murray, 1999).

With the advancement of modern technology, the barrier between "media channels have been blurred" and paved the way for the combination of audio and visual imagery of broadcasting, the complexity and information of traditional media: print, and the interactive aspects rendered by the online media in delivering news in its digital form (Wenger & Potter, 2012).

Park (1940 as cited in Howe 2011) mentioned that the function of news is to inform man and society of the actual world. Past research found that news allows participation by providing organized information, producing discussions in people's networks, and allowing people to cogitate on issues (Lemart, 1992; Shah et al., 2005; Eveland, 2004 as cited in Howe 2011).

The arrival of online media has helped the news become a social experience in smart ways for consumers. People use social media and social media networks to asses, filter and react to news (Howe, 2011). Hermida (2010 as cited in Howe 2011) mentioned that social media allows millions of people to communicate right away, enabling consumers to share and discuss situations that prompts an expression of collective intelligence. As a result, most print media are now adapting their industries to suffice the needs of their customers. Many of Internet users are now using websites that are created by the print media companies (Clark, 2010).

Eveland and Dunwoody (2002) as cited in Opgenhaffen and d'Haenens (2011) stated that the presence of online news improves the search for information online. The level of mixed media, interactivity, and hypertext determines the way how news consumers can manage and browse through the content, choose the layout in which the fact should be presented, use hyperlinks, and discuss news online (Deuze, 2004; Eveland and Dunwoody, 2001; Shah, Cho, Eveland, and Kwak, 2005; as cited in Opgenhaffen and d'Haenens 2011).

Online news articles can have video footage, sound clips, infographics, and slideshows. Sundar and Limperos (2002) as cited in (Opgenhaffen and d'Haenens 2011) supported the idea, stating that the presence of multimedia may have a positive impact on the perception and attitude on consumers. Opgenhaffen and d'Haenens (2011) argued that the inclusion of videos and images "can create the experience of being present in distant locations and make a real-life experience possible during online consumption".

Syed Arabi (1993) as cited in Azahari and Padil (2014) photographic images can present and portray a story or news report better than merely pure-texts alone. With the use of photographic images in any presentations in the media, it will make memories last longer along with the power to make a difference in a viewer's point of view (Azahari & Padil, 2014)

Barrett (2006) as cited in Mustaffa and Padil (2014) added that the use of photographic images can create a positioning power in the minds and imagination of the public. Even without the use of texts, a well-taken and designed image can immediately capture the attention of the audience as well as make the news report or storytelling more compelling and legitimate.

Mustaffa (2011), pointed out that every photographic image carries out its meaning or message with varying intentions such as to, educate, entertain, inform, persuade, and promote. Photographs are widely deployed and utilized for different sets of function and predetermined results in a broad series of communication and leisure businesses or indurstries (Mustaffa and Padil, 2014).

In addition, Poynter Institute conducted a study in 2004 and found out that "multimedia have an adverse effect on retaining credible information or data (e.g., of names and place-names), whereas memory retention was better, in comparison with text messages, in the case of information the test persons were not familiar with".

Disaster Tourism

Disaster is an event, concentrated in time and space, in which a society or a relatively self-sufficient subdivision of a society undergoes severe damage and incurs such losses to its members and physical appurtenances that the social construct is disrupted, and the fulfillment of all or some of the essential functions of society prevented (Sood, Stockdale, and Rodgers, 2012).

Tourism has taken its role as a vast project that does not only create income but also influences life. It has encouraged fast development in multiple nations worldwide, and it has been declared viable both domestically and internationally. Tourism is defined as a social, cultural and economic phenomenon, which includes the travel or visit of people to countries or places outside their normal environment for personal or business purposes (UNWTO, 1995). Faulkner and Russell (1997) noted that it is an act, both for humanity and the economy that is likely to be faced by dilemmas originating from the internal and external aspects of the industry.

Disaster tourism is defined as 'programmes designed to teach external people a lesson about the disaster in an affected area' and it is the practice of visiting a disaster-stricken natural or man-made locations (Nagai, 2012). Fonseca, Seabra, & Silva (2016) noted that in this type of tourism details concerning the disaster itself and the consequences involved can capture the attention of a person and holds a vital role in educating and informing people about what had occur in a disaster.

Wright and Sharpley (2016) said that disaster tourism locations are usually brief as long as they draw attention to travellers or 'disaster tourists' to witness the effect of the disaster and only lasts when those effects are evident.

Tourists are required to have strong sense of motivation to view and discover devastated areas and those people who have encountered natural catastrophes as well as in places that has a risk factor (Rucinska, 2016) In addition, she noted that in the context of risk is where natural disaster tourism occurs and is comprised of the evaluation of losses, loss depletion in tourism, preparation for tourists for any possible risks as well as escape paths. People who engaged in disaster tourism are usually curious to witness the aftermath or consequences brought by a disaster (Fonseca, Seabra, & Silva, 2016).

For (Zou and Yuan, 2008), they stated that disaster tourism are leisure exercises that will equip and mould individuals with adequate education regarding disasters by engaging in various activities such as sightseeing and walkthroughs in hazardous-stricken locations or do a reenactment of a certain scenario in disaster states, as well as recreational deeds that would rehabilitate the afflicted site's economic resources, ecosystem, and social responsibility.

Adventure Tourism

Adventure involves the deliberate seeking of risk, which is the accepted attraction in adventure activities. It is the only situation in which people seek rather than avoid risk (Ryan, 2003).

Adventure tourism is a bundle of outdoor touristic activities, often commercialized and involves interaction with the natural environment away from the person's comfort and consists elements of risk; in which the outcome is influenced by the participant, setting and management of the touristic experience (Hall, 1992).

Risk is defined as the potential to lose something of value (Priest, 1999). With the nature of adventure activities, there are risks associated such as injury or death, human error due to lack of experience or uncontrollable environmental conditions. It is the subjective judgment of these real risks which forms an individual's perception of risk and hence determines their decision to participate in an activity or not (Beeton, 2006). In adventure tourism, Cater (2006) as cited in (Williams and Balaz, 2014) stated that there is a growing interest in those who seek risk or those who are tolerant in risks, as the amount of "high-risk" adventurers appears to gain in tourism.

There is differentiation on the elements of risk attached to adventure activities, described as soft and hard adventure. Soft adventure is seen as taking place outdoors with the physical activity and risk factor only minimal. Hard adventure, on the other hand, involves high levels of physical challenge as well as a high level of risk and the possibility of death (Beeton, 1999).

As for the elements of risk, it is linked after Ulrich Bech's notion of Risk Society, wherein he stated: "Risk may be defined as a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernization itself". Bech also mentioned that risk society is "characterized essentially by a lack: the impossibility of an external attribution of hazards", hence risk depends on the decisions of people despite the hazard and danger that can come along with it. (Leiss, 1992).

For (Raj, 2017) adventure tourism falls under the category of ecotourism and is found in nature, natural surroundings, and the thrill of the destination, which includes venturing to distant locations, where tourists' wait for the unexpected turn of events.

The root of adventure tourism is found within traditional leisure and involves exercises that needs particular abilities in an open environment Weber (2001) as cited in Raj (2017). The distinction of the common recreation from adventure recreation is the sense of consciously searching for risk, which is embedded in adventure recreation, as well as in the ambiguity of the result. (Weber, 2001 as cited in Raj, 2017)

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The Deliberate Seeking of Risk. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

The Deliberate Seeking of Risk
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