Interweavement — Building a Crisis Decision-Making Model for Rational Responsibility in the Media: International Communication, Political Crisis Management, and the Use of Mathematics

Mahmoud Eid
School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
September, 2004
 

Abstract


This dissertation suggests a media decision-making model-the Crisis Decision-Making Model for Media Rational Responsibility (CD_M3_R2)-that may contribute to making the performance of media decision makers effective, as a consequence of being rational and responsible. CD_M3_R2 is a theoretical model which can be practically examined in terms of specific conditions of application. It is prescriptive in nature and provides recommended actions required for media practitioners to take during their news-writing process with application to the United States-Iraqi Crisis and the 2003 War on Iraq. CD_M3_R2 is one example of a model that could help media decision makers understand what ought to be done in an international political crisis in order to achieve the goals sought.

In working towards building the model, the dissertation looks at communication from the perspective of decision-making and shows how the nature of news-writing in media organizations necessarily involves decisions whose consequences can shape the content of their communication. The dissertation explores key ethical principles through an analysis of a group of major media codes of ethics and research into the fundamentals of journalistic practices. It suggests a motivator towards ethical conduct and proves it mathematically to demonstrate how rational conduct for the media decision-makers is connected to the adherence of ethical principles. Game theory's explanation of how individuals' decisions are interrelated and how those decisions result in outcomes helps, when analyzing the rationality of actors in the war, to examine the rational performance of media decision-makers. The dissertation calls for the connection of four theoretical fields-communication, mathematics, crisis management, and decision-making-into a comprehensive body, creating a basis that provides the foundation for the model. The concept of interweavement is proposed to serve as a central locus through which the interactions among these themes are represented in a dynamic ideational architecture. That is, the main components of the CD_M3_R2 and their internal tasks feed from a theoretical basis-a group of synthesized roots of theoretical threads drawn from the major themes-in an entire-exterior degree of interweavement.
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