Knight Center researchers win National Science Foundation grant

Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi and center affiliate Manuel Chavez have won a $404,873 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project “Infrastructure Collapse and its Effects on News Practices During Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.”

Student interviewing on radio

Nieves interviewing a radio host at WKAQ-Univisión Radio during preliminary fieldwork in December 2017.

This two-year project will examine media content before, during and after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in September 2017. The researchers will also investigate the ways audiences sought and used the limited information provided by the news media.

Takahashi and Chavez will collaborate with Yadira Nieves, a professor at the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico and a recent MSU Ph.D. graduate, Professor Luis Rosario Albert of the Universidad del Turabo and Professor Federico Subervi of the University of Leeds.

The project will build on preliminary research conducted by Nieves, Takahashi and Chavez examining radio practices in Puerto Rico during the disaster. They conducted in-depth interviews in December 2017 with funds from a Quick Response Grant awarded by the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


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