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Abrahm Lustgarten: "Communications Forum: Public Communications in Slow-Moving Crises"

(Full event video available at http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/c4fcm:1502/videos/9524-communications-forum-public-communications-in-slow-moving-crises- )

Governments, corporations, and communities plan for sudden crises: the White House drafts strong responsive rhetoric for the next terrorist attack; Toyota runs reassuring national TV spots within hours of a product recall; and 32 Massachusetts towns successfully publicize water distribution sites following a water main rupture.

However, like the housing collapse or the recent Gulf oil spill, some crises are complex, difficult to warn of, and don't cleanly fit traditional media frames. They are slow moving, and the media still struggles to rhetorically or technologically cover these simmering, rather than boiling, dramas.

With government regulators weak, corporations still focused on the bottom line, and communities adapting to structural change, this Communications Forum asks: What new media tools and strategies can be used to help everyone better prepare for the unique communications challenges of slow-moving crises?

Abrahm Lustgarten is an investigative reporter for ProPublica -- his recent work has focused on oil and gas industry practices. He is a former staff writer and contributor for Fortune, and has written for Salon, Esquire, the Washington Post and the New York Times since receiving his master's in journalism from Columbia University in 2003. He is the author of the book China’s Great Train: Beijing’s Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet, a project that was funded in part by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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December 01, 2010 09:15
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