Mobile Phone Cultures & The Reporting of Crises & Disasters

This weeks readings, by Allan; Hjorth & Kim & Bell,  looked at the recent developments in mobile phone technologies and the impacts these have had on cultures & in particular the reporting of crisis’ and disasters.

For me the most interesting points from these articles were the influence over culture that mobile phones have had, particularly through the notion of co-presence. Co-presence is the idea that individuals are no living both in the real world & on online networks simultaneously via social media & other tools such as texting and instant messaging (Hjorth, L & Kim, K 2011).

Recent developments in mobile phone technology has had a drastic impact on this behaviour as people are now much able to access online social media on the go in places other than their homes. This is especially evident in the younger population groups (25-34 years old) where 95% of them own a mobile phone (Roy Morgan 2011). Many of these people, much like myself, run their lives through their mobile phone using as much more than a communication device it is now also an alarm clock, “pager, notice board,

machine, fridge door, and bedside table” (Bell, G 2006). This adoption process has also created a shift away from fixed line services as shown in the graph below.

Finally looking forward I can see mobile phones playing an even greater role in our lives with the development of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which will enable users to easily transfer data & even use their phone as a credit card to pay for purchases at stores. The article by LifeHacker goes into much greater detail regarding developments of this technology.


  • Allan, S (2007), Citizen Journalism and the Rise of “Mass Self Communication”: Reporting the London Bombing, Global Media Journal, Vol.1, No.1, pp.1-20
  • Bell, G (2006), The Age of the Thumb: A Cultural Reading of Mobile Technologies from Asia, Knowledge, Technology, & Policy, Vol.19, No.2, pp.41-57
  • Hjorth, L & Kim, K (2011), The Mourning After: A Case Study of Social Media in the 3.11 Earthquake Disaster in Japan, Television & New Media, Vol.12, No.6, pp.552-559
  • LifeHacker (2011), Does NFC Have a Future in Australia?, accessed 11/9/2012,
  • Roy Morgan (2012), Mobile Phone Use Grows as Home Telephone Connections Slow, accessed 11/9/2012,

One response to “Mobile Phone Cultures & The Reporting of Crises & Disasters

  1. Very apt posting on September 11…..

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