Mass media in recent years has helped sensitise people most effectively through forewarning and coverage of natural disasters. Examine the importance of media role in disaster management in India.
Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, and destruction and devastation to life and property. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the geographical location, climate and the type of the earth surface/degree of vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area. The media forges a direct link between the public and emergency organizations and plays a very important role in disseminating vital information to the public before, during and after disasters.
- The media, by communicating the information to the people and the concerned authorities sufficiently in advance, can enable them to take the necessary steps to prevent and minimize the loss of life and property.
- The media could play an important role in raising public awareness and education for effective response to natural hazards through television and radio programs.
- During the onslaught of the disaster, what is of utmost importance is to keep the morale of the people high, to create self-confidence in them, to prevent panic and to maintain order by assuring and making available the necessary help readily and quickly.
- Media can also help in mobilizing resources, financial aid and volunteers from around the world.
- Assist the government and the non-governmental organizations providing relief supplies to the people.
- Boosting the morale of the afflicted and those engaged in relief operations during any disaster is of primary importance.
- It can help in disseminating information about survivors, diseased and affected people to the families elsewhere and world around. especially the social media can help in this with technological inventions like i am safe marker by Facebook and google
- Reporting genuine facts with constructive criticism by the media would greatly help in restoring the order.
- In addition, the specific appeal made for relief through the columns and the time-slots of the media, brings in sizable aid in the requisite form.
“Quick, Reliable and Accurate (QRA)” are three essential keywords for disaster related information. The media play a unique role in disaster mitigation. Although the aims of the media and those of disaster mitigation organizations are not synonymous, without compromising the independence and integrity of either, much can be done to communicate to the public the information that will help many save their own lives.
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