Natural Hazards and the press in the western Mediterranean region
Abstract. This study analyses press articles published between 1982 and 2005 in an attempt to describe the social perception of natural hazards in Catalonia. The articles included in the database have been classified according to different types of risk. In addition, the study examines the evolution of each type of risk in the press coverage during the study period. Finally, the results have been compared to data provided by insurance companies with respect to compensations paid out for damages. Conclusions show that floods are the most important natural hazard in the region, but that the number of headlines for each event is greater in the case of snowfalls and forest fires. Factors such as the season of the year, the proximity of the affected region to the capital, the topical issues at the time, and the presence of other important news must be considered when the impact in the press is analysed.