Four broadcasting unions whose membership spans Africa, Arab states, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe have vowed to push for greater media involvement in disaster risk reduction, given their crucial role as a conduit of information to the public.
TV Debate: Disaster Risk Reduction and the Private Sector
The well-known BBC World presenter, Mr David Eades, hosted a special televised panel discussion at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. In this special event, a high-powered panel of key business and government leaders discussed whether the global building industry needs to make urgent and radical changes in order to protect communities from the impacts of disasters given that the private sector is responsible for up to 80% of investment in all urban infrastructures.
Twelve films were shortlisted for the first edition of the International Award for Best TV Documentary on Disaster Risk Reduction, a competition honouring work that spotlights human stories, investigation and innovation. The four categories for competition entries were: Best Human Story; Best Investigative Story; Most Innovative Documentary; and Best Disaster Risk Reduction Story. The award ceremony took place at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.
The media can make a real difference in the way people think and act about disasters.
Reporters, commentators, editors, broadcasters, and all members of the media can do more than just inform and raise awareness about disasters. By exploring the root causes of disasters and their social dimensions, the media can help communities and countries understand what it is that makes them vulnerable, and what they can do to increase their capacities to cope with disasters.
UNISDR works with the media to share the inside scoop on disasters and risk reduction, and translates them into useful concepts for the public.
The media is a powerful force that can influence policy change and, together with other development stakeholders, bridge the information gap between communities and governments. The dialogue created by the media between government and communities can help to shift the focus from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention. Working with journalists from The Guardian, Thompson Reuter's AlertNet, the BBC, Vietnam TV, and Tempo in Jakarta, UNISDR produced a guidebook for the media to learn more about disaster risk reduction issues.
The 190-page manual, "Disaster through a Different Lens," describes how climate change, environmental degradation, poverty and rapid urbanization contribute to expose more people to disasters, and discusses what media can do to convince more national and local governments to invest more in disaster risk reduction policies.