Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



A survey with 293 American and 68 international LSU students and two focus groups with American students and one with international students were conducted between November 2005 and February 2006 to determine the difference in media use between American and international LSU students in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: What were students’ main sources of information after the storm? What were their sources when electricity was out? Which source of information helped students feel less lonely? Which source of information helped students fell less stressful? Finally, which medium did the students believe, when compared to others, did the best job reporting on Hurricane Katrina? Second, the study explored how female LSU students differed from male students in media use and satisfaction after the storm. Survey results showed that television was the primary source of information for both American and international students. For American students, coverage by local TV was both informative and comforting, and coverage of national TV was more informative. For international students, both local and national coverage were more informative. More American students listened to the radio as more of them did not have electricity. International students went online more to contact their friends and family abroad, and American students used cell phones to talk to family members. Friends were the primary stress relief for both groups of students and the source that helped them feel less lonely. The largest number of both groups of students agreed that local TV did the best job in reporting on Hurricane Katrina. Overall, students gave the average grade B to American news media reports on Katrina. International students said they were more comforted using American media and got more information from them than from their native language media. When considering gender, there was a statistically significant difference between males and females in using mobile phones, sending text messages and getting information from family members.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Judith Sylvester