‘Make media integral part of disaster reduction strategy’Making newsrooms and media organisations, which have a central role in information dissemination, an integral part of disaster reduction strategy is crucial for strengthening the national disaster-preparedness, recommends a new study.
Making newsrooms and media organisations, which have a central role in information dissemination, an integral part of disaster reduction strategy is crucial for strengthening the national disaster-preparedness, recommends a new study.
A study carried out jointly by five universities led by the UK-based Bournemouth University including Tribhuvan and Kathmandu universities from Nepal and two other from India on Thursday made the recommendations public after eight-month study of Nepali media and journalists that were affected by the mega earthquake in 2015.
The report is based on interviews of 46 journalists including editors who reported on the earthquake and its aftermath, along with field visits to Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot and Gorkha in addition to Kathmandu Valley.
Along with the several recommendations targeted at preparing newsrooms and media houses for disaster, the report “Voices from Nepal: Lessons in Post-Disaster Journalism” also lauds the resilience Nepali journalists demonstrated during and aftermath of the disaster.
“The journalists who were victims themselves performed their duties amid different constrains which demonstrates their resilience,” said Chindu Sreedharan from Bournemouth University, one of co-authors of the report while making public the report. “The finding shows they did show positive attitude towards learning to work during the disaster.”
The report, however, points out the lapses that media houses hardly had disaster preparedness plan in place and largely clueless how would they function if disaster of high intensity hits their work place.
Based on the observations and interviews the report recommends news organisations to develop editorial strategies for dealing with different disaster scenarios.
It also suggests incorporating post disaster reporting into the curricula of all journalism courses to train future journalists along with regular training of journalists on how to cope with disaster.
The 132-page report suggests capacity-building workshops for journalists focusing on how to report key questions after a disaster and establishing a collaborative media network to share experiences and best practices for disaster resilience and response.
“The report gives a very good picture on what Nepali media and journalists went through in the aftermath of the earthquake while also giving futuristic prospective on what should be done to prepare for similar disaster,” said Chiranjivi Khanal chief of Central Department of Journalism and Mass Communications in Tribhuvan University.