Media and Disaster Aid Essay

2988 Words12 Pages
INTRODUCTION There is little doubt that the media has a profound impact on our awareness of humanitarian emergencies and disaster relief around the world. The reality of these disasters, and our responses to them, are heavily influenced by the framework that the media uses – through exposure on television, radio and in print – to capture our attention. The media has a number of important responsibilities as it reports on the events surrounding a natural disaster. I have broken down the media’s focus into four stages: early warning, immediate response, post-disaster review, and implementation. While these phases do not necessarily occur consecutively without overlap, they form a good basis for explaining the different roles of the media…show more content…
The final stage is the “implementation” phase. The media’s responsibility here is to bring forward the recommendations from the post-disaster review, and put pressure on the government to change their policies. In this essay, I will examine the roles of the media through each of these phases and determine their success and failures in each. I will also consider the crucial relationship between the media and NGOs, and identify the ways that the media can work more closely with technology to assist NGOs and public organizations in their relief efforts and disaster management plans. EARLY WARNING PHASE During the early warning phase, the media’s responsibility is to alert communities at risk and distribute disaster response advice. Effective warning systems and disaster reduction strategies are still not a natural component of disaster management and risk reduction globally. The World Disasters Report 2009 (Chapter 1) examines the progress and success in efforts to develop early warning systems, and identifies some of the challenges at global, regional and national levels. One problem with effective warning systems is that they are transmitted through multiple channels before being broadcast to the vulnerable population. In the case of a fire alert for example, the warning could pass through the Bureau of Meteorology, fire department headquarters and the local fire authority, before the media receives the information and makes the
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