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Student’s Research Project Selected for Presentation in Frankfort

Samantha Cook

Samantha Cook, a senior criminal justice major at Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice & Safety had her research project - A Newspaper Content Analysis of Flooding in Appalachian Mining Towns selected to bepresented at the fourteenth annual Posters-at-the-Capitol in Frankfort on February 25, 2016.

Posters-at-the-Capitol is an event coordinated by representatives of Kentucky’s public institutions of higher education to showcase faculty-mentored undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity.

Cook’sposter presents findings from a study conducted on newspaper reports of flooding events in Appalachian mining towns. Four Eastern Kentucky newspapers (Mountain Eagle, Appalachian News Express, Hazard Herald, and Pike County News) were examined for the years 1927, 1957, 1972, 1977, 2010 and 2012 to reflect periods where major flooding events occurred in the region of Appalachia.

A content analysis revealed changes in the language, focus and framing of the events within and between each period. While “aid” appeared frequently in the 1927-57 period, floods were often referred to as “accidents,” and the 1970s saw the introduction of “disaster” language with respect to both mining and flooding. The 1970s also demonstrated the first instances of reports concerning legislation and policy relating to mining and flooding, reflecting greater public awareness of and political response to environmental issues and concerns. All things considered public perceptions on past flooding events can play a role when preparing and dealing with future floods after all public safety is imperative.

Cook’s research has also been accepted for presentation at the 39th annual Appalachian Studies Association conference in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Posters-at-the-Capitol will be hosted on the second floor of the Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky at 700 Capitol Avenue.

Cook is from Taylorsville, KY and her faculty advisors are Associate Professor, Dr. Avi Brisman, MFA, JD, PhD, and Professor Dr. Alice Jones, Director, Appalachian Studies.

Published on December 02, 2015

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