Role of media in disaster management highlighted

Mass media in recent years has helped sensitise people most effectively through forewarning and coverage of natural disasters, journalist T.V. Sivanandan said.

Addressing officials of various departments and mediapersons at a session on the ‘Role of media in disaster management’ organised by the Centre for Disaster Management Administrative Training Institute, Mysuru, here on Tuesday, Mr. Sivanandan said that though various advanced communication means are available for early warnings, evacuation plans and help in post-disaster activities, the success of all efforts depends largely on the understanding the officials have with the media.

Advanced technologies and accurate weather prediction have helped avert major disasters during the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh cyclones. The media plays a vital role in the management of disasters by educating people about consequences, hazard warnings, gathering and transmitting information about affected areas, and also alerting the government for rescue and relief.

Lack of communication and coordination among government officials and mediapersons during pre and post-disaster activities lead to publishing of unverified and speculative reports. When officials avoid sharing information about a situation, reporters tend to rely on local informers.

Meanwhile, the media should be more responsible in disseminating information, he said. Besides providing the correct information at the right time, it should also create an environment of solidarity and faith to help in augmenting the collective responsibility to tackle challenges posed by any disaster, Mr. Sivanandan said.

Sharing his experience in reporting from the scene during the Killari earthquake, in which 52 villages of Latur district in Maharashtra were demolished in the in 1993, he said that over 10,000 lives were lost.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:33:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/role-of-media-in-disaster-management-highlighted/article30857466.ece

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