JDR Vol.4 No.6 pp. 499-505
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2009.p0499


Does the Type of News Coverage Influence Donations to Disaster Relief? Evidence from the 2008 Cyclone in Myanmar

Philip H. Brown* and Po Yin Wong**

*Colby College, Department of Economics 5246 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME, USA

**Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland 2200 Symons Hall, College Park, MD, USA

August 21, 2009
October 8, 2009
December 1, 2009
natural disasters, media, news, charitable giving
This paper examines the relationship between media coverage of a major natural disaster and charitable giving for disaster relief, focusing on three questions: first, was media coverage of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 correlated with charitable giving to disaster relief in Myanmar? Second, were charitable contributions earmarked for disaster relief in Myanmar impacted by the occurrence of a second major natural disaster — the May 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan, China? Third, how did different types of news stories affect same-day charitable giving to disaster relief efforts in Myanmar? These questions are analyzed in a rich multivariate regression framework, and results show that charitable giving is indeed correlated with media coverage, that donations to disaster relief in China appear to compete with those to disaster relief in Myanmar, and that “event-driven” news stories strongly and positively influence the level of giving whereas news stories classified as “institutional” or “human-interest” do not have any discernible impact.
Cite this article as:
P. Brown and P. Wong, “Does the Type of News Coverage Influence Donations to Disaster Relief? Evidence from the 2008 Cyclone in Myanmar,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.4 No.6, pp. 499-505, 2009.
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