Mediating Realities: A Case of the Boeing 737 MAX

Bob Travica
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 23  •  2020  •  pp. 025-046

The research problem of this study refers to the manner in which old and new mass media represented the significant social development surrounding two crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX airplane.

The study follows a qualitative case study methodology based on a sample of newspaper articles, TV programming, specialized technical publications, Twitter posts, and Facebook content.

The study contributes to understanding specifics and differences in representing extraordinary socio-economic events by different types of media.

Key findings are that these media have constructed different realities surrounding the tragic events and exhibited informing distortions to different degrees.

Practical implications of this study are relevant for the institutional and individual clients of informing with regard to selecting appropriate media for use. There are also implications for informers with regard to reducing distortions in informing.

Social media could be a channel for alternative learning rather than manipulation. Mainstream media were confirmed to be a loudspeaker for authorities as postulated in critical media research, and analytical media provided influential, deeper technical analysis.

As the Boeing case unfolds, it would be interesting to investigate any evolution in mediated realities.

informing distortion, fake news, fact, truth, Boeing 737 MAX, mainstream media, social media, explanatory journalism, media relations, informing power
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