Information Balance between Transmitters and Receivers Based on the Twitter after Great East Japan Earthquake

Information Balance between Transmitters and Receivers Based on the Twitter after Great East Japan Earthquake

Masahiro Moriya (University of Tsukuba, Tokyo, Japan) and Mina Ryoke (University of Tsukuba, Tokyo, Japan)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/jkss.2013040107
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In this paper, Information Balance between supply and demand of information is considered. In general, differences between informational transmitter and receivers are often observed, and it is not so surprising in daily life. However, it would give serious influences for the receivers to make decisions about their next action in the emergency situations like disasters. In this paper, the government is assigned a role as the informational transmitter and the citizen have roles of the receivers. This paper is to find out supply and demand of information (“Information balance”) between government and citizens regarding Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident. Information from Government is picked up from tweets of @kantei saigai, official twitter account of Prime Minister’s Office, and total 56 accounts whose profiles have some relationship to the affected area are collected as receiver. According to several analysis performance, we found out following three points. 1) There were information imbalance between government and citizens related to the affected area, 2) citizens required not only objective data about radiation but also impact and countermeasure for that, 3) citizens covered that information imbalance by following media twitter accounts providing prefectural and specific information.
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Generally, there are information transmitters and receivers in dairy communications, although that doesn’t always match between what the transmitter said and the receiver needed and mismatch is very likely to occur. For example, at mobile shop, shop clerk often explains the basic price, option price and discount plan earnestly because those detailed explanation is required to get consent to the terms of service. However, most guests such as students, housewives and even office workers are not interested in those each condition for paying but total payment for each month and penalty charge. Even in interview by managements of major companies lose what is required by information receiver. Some consumer electronics companies emphasize sharpness and high resolution of their TV products, although most consumers don’t emphasize such high-end function but function in moderation with affordable price. Furthermore, information from government often failed to catch the necessity from citizens. Regarding radioactivity impact by Fukushima nuclear accident, Chief cabinet secretary had repeatedly explained “Hazard of radioactivity shall not affect the human body immediately”. Since this expression was not clear about the effect of radioactivity on human body, citizens were very confused. As the observed cases in daily life, there are mismatch between what transmitter is announcing and what receiver needs. This paper defines those balances of information supply and demand as “Information Balance”.

There are many imbalances between information transmitters and receivers. Those imbalances have negative effect to the communication and sometimes arise dissatisfaction and distrust to information transmitter. Customer of mobile phone shop might be annoyed to hear unnecessary and long explanation by a shop clerk and those complex information sometimes confuses them to choose payment plan. Regarding the case of consumer electronics companies, they might lose their customers and sales, if managements misread demand of consumers and failed to make appropriate press release or advertisement about their product. Moreover, in the case of risk information from government about impact of radioactivity, information balance is highly required, because that is an issue between life and death. Here, risk communication is defined as “the exchange process of the interaction of information and opinions among individuals, groups and organizations involved in the risk (National Research Council, 1989)” and its final purpose is considered as “the promotion of understanding of the risk and to build a trust between the parties (Kinoshita, 2004) ”. In addition, there are two types of purpose as risk communication. One is “to provide risk information to the recipient” and the other is “to influence and persuade recipients belief and behavior for inducing the desired direction.” For the first purpose, “If you were in a state to recognize a deeper understanding of the problem between the sender and receiver, and if you were given accurate information to be satisfied, then risk communication can be considered successful (Kazuo Yoshida, 2007).” From the definition and content of risk communication above, a sense of trust and understanding of risk information through information balance is inevitable between information transmitter and receiver.

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