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Here you will find information about the research publications I’ve been involved with. Throughout my research, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many interesting projects that have enriched my understanding and paved the path towards my successful Researcher career. I’m proud to showcase my hard work with the list of publications below.



March 2023

This article was published in Media International Australia online in March 2023.

MIA has kindly made it open access, so go and have a read.

Atkinson, S., & Lee, J.Y. (2023). Social media: Connecting and sharing in a bushfire crisis. Media International Australia, 2023.

Social media has become an integral channel for official agencies to communicate with citizens in a
natural disaster crisis and increasingly time, effort and money are being spent on improving social
media strategies and practices. However, there is much less research focused on understanding
how people engage with official social media content, a significant piece of the crisis communica-
tion puzzle. As the use of social media for crisis communication in natural disasters is increasing
and the amount of information threatens to overwhelm people, understanding how people engage
with official social media content is vital. Using quantitative content analysis, this study examined
the use of Facebook by two Australian emergency response agencies during a specific bushfire
event and explored how the attributes of social media content are related to user engagement
with the information. The findings show that the two agencies had markedly different approaches
which resulted in differences in user engagement.

Bushfires, content analysis, crisis communication, social media, user engagement

A woman on a mountain looking at a phone screen


January 2021

This article was published in the open journal Australian Journal of Emergency Management, the journal of the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience

Atkinson, S., Kim, C., & Lee, J. (2021). Facebook as an official communication channel in a crisis. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 36(5).


Digital platforms have become valuable resources to citizens as they allow immediate access to quality information and news. Staying up to date with information and news is particularly vital in crises such as bushfires. The 2019–20 bushfire season in Australia was extreme, resulting in widespread devastation and loss of life, property and wildlife. Communicating with affected communities is a critical component of community response and resilience in a disaster. Organisations, such as ACT Emergency Services Agency and the NSW Rural Fire Service, need to provide timely, accurate and reliable information. This study investigated official communication using Facebook during the Orroral Valley bushfires from these two emergency services agencies and considers to what extent messaging demonstrated the characteristics of effective crisis communication, including application of the National Framework for Scaled Advice and Warnings to the Community. A content analysis of over 600 posts revealed marked differences in approaches. The study revealed the benefits of using a combination of text, images and infographics in communication activities. Suggestions are provided about how social media could be used more effectively by truly connecting with communities to improve community preparedness and resilience.

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