Dilution of Accountability and Transparency in the Flint Water Crisis: A Case of Institutional Implosion

  • Manuel Chavez Media and Information Studies and College of Communication Arts and Sciences - Michigan State University
  • Marta Pérez Gabaldón Professor of Political Science - Universidad Cardenal Herrera
  • Carin Tunney School of Journalism - Michigan State University
  • Silvia Núñez García Center for Research on North America - National Autonomous University of Mexico
Keywords: Flint, water crisis, accountability, transparency, news media, watchdog function, public health, lead contamination,

Abstract

This article examines two major institutions widely touted in the United States as servants to communities and the general public: the government and the news media. The Flint water crisis is a textbook case in which these two institutions failed to live up to their responsibilities of accountability and transparency. The authors examine the major events during the water crisis, looking at it through the lens of government actions and how the press covered them, conducting qualitative context analysis during the first five months of the crisis. The analysis includes the actions of federal, state, and local agencies and the reporting of national, state, and local newspapers. Their findings show that the institutions completely imploded, with an impact on thousands of residents, many of whom happened to be minorities.

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Published
2017-09-26
How to Cite
Chavez, M., Pérez Gabaldón, M., Tunney, C., & Núñez García, S. (2017). Dilution of Accountability and Transparency in the Flint Water Crisis: A Case of Institutional Implosion. Norteamérica, Revista Académica Del CISAN-UNAM, 12(1), 11-52. https://doi.org/10.20999/nam.2017.a001
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